20 January 2023 – Nine members of the US-based Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat led by Ms. Leah Karrer embarked on a learning mission and dialogue with the PCB-WEEE Project stakeholders and constituents of the two electrical and electronic equipment wastes or e-waste facilities that the project helped to establish in Barangay Bagong Silang, Caloocan City and Barangay Dampalit, Malabon City.
The GEF-funded PCB-WEEE Project (Full title: Implementation of PCB Management Programs for Electric Cooperatives and Safe E-Waste Management) provided seed money in the amount of $6.2 M for the establishment of treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities and their maiden operations.
Malabon City Vice Mayor Bernard Dela Cruz, who himself was grateful for the expansion of one of the city’s materials recovery facilities (MRF) into an e-waste facility, welcomed the group.
Atty. Jonas Leones, the Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said that the project enabled the country, which is a party to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), to set in motion the proper management of POPs, specifically Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs), in e-wastes by establishing the e-waste facility for households and institutionalizing the e-waste collection through partnerships with local government units, the private sector such as Globe Telecom, Inc., civil society, and national government agencies.
Ted Monroy, the UNIDO country representative, also said that the project successfully showed how environmentally sound innovative technologies and practices supported by relevant enabling policies could safeguard communities from toxic and hazardous chemicals, catalyze social and economic transformation through job creation, provide safe working conditions, and empower women and the marginalized or overlooked sector.
According to Leah Texon, the PCB-WEEE National Project Manager, the project had already collected at least 50,000 cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) and disposed of 550 kg of PBDEs. This was just a little under 50% of the target, which is 1,120 kg. More importantly, it had sequestered and disposed of 600 tons of glass components of CRT that were contaminated with poisonous lead.
In terms of job creation, the facility in Barangay Dampalit alone employs around five e-waste dismantlers. The Integrated Recycling Industries, Inc. that was contracted to perform the waste recycling process, reported a recyclable materials recovery rate of about 20%. (UNIDO/ Myeka Trinidad)