BORACAY — The local government unit of Barangay Balabag, one of the three villages on the famous resort island of Boracay, has established a material recovery facility (MRF) in compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Village chief Glenn Sacapano said the facility has been operating smoothly as prescribed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Barangay Balabag, which is located in the central portion of the island and host of several tourism-related businesses, is working at improving its waste disposal system.

The five-hectare materials recovery facility (MRF) serves as the temporary storage of recyclable garbage as well as composting area for biodegradable wastes.

“Some 80% of the residents and 90% of business establishments have been complying with the segregation policy. The wastes collected are being brought to the MRF for recycling and composting,”  explained Sacapano.

Balabag LGU received a grant of P250,000 from the Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (BCCI) for the improvement of the facility, which was used to be made up of bamboo.

The chamber, which represents 37 member resorts and establishments, is implementing the P4-million “Eco-Education Campaign and Material Recovery Facility Project for the Residents and Tourism-Related Establishments in Boracay Island” with the help of the Private Enterprise Accelerated Resource Linkages, Phase II (Pearl 2), of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The project aims to gather all stakeholders to implement ecologically sound solid waste management which will contribute to the sustainability and viability of Boracay as a tourism destination.

The project uses the following strategies: information and education campaign; capability building; establishment of materials recovery facility for each of the three villages on the island; holding of an annual event to reward establishments with the best solid waste management system; and holding of the same event that promotes environmental awareness among students.

The project also provided Barangay Balabag a mini-dump truck as well as two chipping and shredding machines for processing of waste into compost, said Jeorge D. Billedo, BCCI’s communication officer.

“Income from selling recyclable materials and organic fertilizers will be used to self-sustain the MRF and the profit will be allotted to finance the expansion of the facility,” Sacapano said.

Part of the plan is to develop a model organic vegetable farm to encourage the vermiculture scheme being adopted at the barangay level as a livelihood program.