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Environmental stakeholders gather for a group photo shoot after the inauguration of the e-waste facility in Barangay Bagong Silang in Caloocan City / PIA

Caloocan opens e-waste facility

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A barangay in Caloocan City is host the country's first electronic waste facility to manage discarded electronics.

The government-supported e-waste facility was officially inaugurated at a simple ceremony on Feb 21 in Barangay 176 (Bagong Silang), the country’s largest barangay, with various sectors in attendance.

“We are deeply honored for being chosen as partner for this collaborative project, which will help in protecting our environment from the hazards of unsafe e-waste disposal while generating jobs for our constituents,” said Barangay 176 Chairman Joel Bacolod.

The facility, which is part of the “Safe PCB and E-Waste Management Project,” will serve as a storage site for collected e-waste such as busted television sets prior to being transported to the Integrated Recycling Industries (IRI) in Calamba City.

Dr. Carmela Centeno, Industrial Development Officer at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), commended the barangay leadership, as well as the other project stakeholders from the public and private sectors, for the completion of the e-waste facility.

UNIDO, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Bureau (DENR-EMB) and with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), supports the safe management of e-waste in the Philippines through the said project.

“The inauguration of this facility is an important milestone in the project led by the DENR-EMB that seeks to promote the environmentally sound management of e-waste containing polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a class of highly toxic flame retardant chemicals,” Centeno said.

PBDEs, banned and targeted for global elimination under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), are known to cause thyroid hormone disruption function, reproductive disorders and neurodevelopmental deficits in children, and possibly cancer.

The collection of some 1.15 tons of PBDEs from 50,000 cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors for environmentally sound management is one of the measurable results of the “Safe PCB and E-Waste Management Project “.

“The inclusion of the informal waste sector in the project  will help in minimizing workers’ exposure to harmful substances in e-waste and to reducing environmental pollution from the improper recycling and disposal of such waste,” noted Roxanne Figueroa, E-Waste Project Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition, a civil society project partner working for a “zero waste and toxics-free society.”

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