The arduous campaign period and its culmination in Election Day has finally passed and as the Filipino nation awaits the results of the polls to see what kind of leaders we have put into power, one look at our post-election surroundings gives us an idea of the work that remains to be done by candidates and their supporters.
After months of campaign, public spaces, trees, utility poles, and walls all over the country are plastered with layers of campaign materials, most of which were illegally placed while officials of local governments and the Commission on Elections conveniently looked the other way. The few campaign materials that were placed by private individuals on their property will no doubt be tidied up, but as for the majority of the campaign trash that now litters our surroundings, nobody knows what will happen to it.
While there is a chance that a few responsible candidates and their supporters will take it upon themselves to undo the damage they have done to our surroundings, it is more likely that our local trash collectors will have to bear the burden of cleaning up after their mess.
Moreover, if a clean up is attempted, it is very likely that the trash will simply be indiscriminately disposed when recycling or upcycling should be an option. If forward-thinking towns and cities had bothered to put in place a system, the ubiquitous tarpaulin must have other uses beyond being campaign paraphernalia.
A material recovery facility can transform these tons of materials into bags for students or as coverings or mats for evacuation centers.
It was obvious from the beginning that no matter how much we would’ve wanted it, making the campaign period green was already a challenge. But if our towns and cities had made preparations for recycling and upcycling, we could still minimize the environmental impact of the elections and the campaign period.*