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Starting with kitchen waste management for environment-friendly and sustainable Jesuit houses

30 June 2015

Two Jesuit houses in the Philippines are setting up proper waste management systems as part of their commitment to act on and animate Reconciliation with Creation towards environment-friendly and sustainable lifestyles and institutions.

At the Loyola House of Studies in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, steel cages are installed at the back of the kitchen to facilitate proper segregation of waste. With the support of kitchen employees and scholastics, plastic and glass bottles, tin cans, and cardboard boxes are now collected for recycling. Kitchen waste is now properly dumped into a compost pit.

Jesuits set up proper waste management at the Loyola House of Studies in Quezon City, Philippines. Photo Credit: C Aguinaldo, ESSC

Jesuits set up proper waste management at the Loyola House of Studies in Quezon City, Philippines. (Photos: C Aguinaldo, ESSC)

Initiated by Fr Mark Lopez, who was the House Ecology Coordinator, the waste management activities kicked off December 2014 with the support of Father Superior, other priests in the community, the scholastics, and the staff. Cesar Aguinaldo from the Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC) assisted and provided technical support and labor.

“Proper managing of house sustainability depends on the attitude and dedication of the individual who cares for the cleanliness of the entire house,” Fr Mark cited.

The Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches, Quezon City, Philippines has housed the Jesuits for more than 75 years. Photo credit: C Aguinaldo, ESSC

The Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches, Quezon City, Philippines has housed the Jesuits for more than 75 years. (Photo: C Aguinaldo, ESSC)

The Sacred Heart Novitiate and Retreat Center in Novaliches, Quezon City is also seeking to establish a system for managing waste. To help them get started, Cesar of ESSC spent an afternoon with the communities of both Jesuit houses and reviewed how they manage their waste. He also gave them a basic introduction to various types of waste and ways of segregating and composting organic waste.

One of the easiest ways to segregate the waste in your house, community or institute is to begin in the kitchen or pantry. Just put two bins in the room, one for all the wet waste (food waste) and the other for all the dry waste (recyclables).

Initial activities to develop a new system of waste segregation at the Sacred Heart Novitiate include setting up a materials recovery facility where waste and recyclable materials are sorted into different types (plastics, cardboard, paper, metal) and prepared for proper disposal through selling or recycling.  Photos on the left show the unsegregated waste materials and the photo on the right shows the organized and proper segregation. Photo credit: C Aguinaldo, ESSC

Initial activities to develop a new system of waste segregation at the Sacred Heart Novitiate include setting up a materials recovery facility where waste and recyclable materials are sorted into different types (plastics, cardboard, paper, metal) and prepared for proper disposal through selling or recycling. Photos on the left show the unsegregated waste materials and the photo on the right shows the organized and proper segregation. (Photos: C Aguinaldo, ESSC)

This simple move by the Jesuits in the Philippines cannot be underestimated, as poor management of solid waste can lead to rodent infestations, disease outbreak, and groundwater contamination. Starting with our own houses, we can show how sustainability can be integrated in our lifestyles and institutions.

Read the original story in JCAP.

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