A local waste and pollution watchdog yesterday urged the government to consider the creation of “green jobs” by expanding recycling programs.
The Ecological Waste Coalition (EcoWaste), advocating “zero waste” in the country, said stimulating “green enterprises” can generate employment amid looming job losses and address the perennial garbage problem.
“Safe and non-toxic recycling of discards can stimulate green enterprises that can generate revenue and jobs for our communities,” explained Ofelia Panganiban of the EcoWaste’s Task Force on Eco-Livelihood.
“Diverting funds from dirty disposal to clean recycling, aside from creating jobs, will help in conserving resources and reducing the climate impact of our wasteful lifestyle,” Panganiban said.
In pushing for the creation of recycling jobs, the EcoWaste referred to a study by the National Recycling Coalition for the US Environmental Protection Agency showing the value of reuse and recycling to the US economy.
It said the study, titled “US Recycling Economic Information Study,” showed that America’s reuse and recycling industry employs as much as 1.1 million people, and generates a whopping $236 billion in annual revenue.
EcoWaste added that the same study documented that the reuse and recycling industry in US indirectly supported 1.4 million jobs in support industries such as accounting and office supply companies that have a payroll of $52 billion and sales amounting to $173 billion.
In the Philippines, however, EcoWaste claimed that recycling rate remains low because of the poor implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (Republic Act 9003).
The group sees the unfortunate impending job losses in the country due to the global financial crisis as a good opportunity for the expansion of “clean recycling programs” to provide alternative livelihood and boost the implementation of the law. – Katherine Adraneda, Philippine Star