The Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) of Narra, a town in Southern Palawan, are continuously exploring ways to reuse discarded glass bottles as an alternative construction material.

Sheila Nalda, the Narra environment officer-in-charge, told Palawan News that they transform them into eco-bricks or hollow blocks that can be used for a variety of construction purposes.

She stated that collecting glass bottles was difficult because Republic Act 9003 classifies them as recyclables and excludes them from the local government units’ (LGUs) solid waste collection function.

Some residents would opt to sell bottles to junk shops, she explained, but the majority of them still go to waste as only certain types of bottles are accepted.

As the amount of glass bottle waste increased, the MENRO considered collecting and reusing them.

“Sa atin sa Palawan as island province ay hindi lahat ng bote ay nabibili maliban sa bote ng gin,” Nalda said.

“Marami tayong naiipon na bote na hindi nabibili at naiimbak lang sa likod bahay kaya noong nagstart kami na kolektahin ay ginigiling namin ito at hinahalo sa pag gawa ng hollow blocks,” she said.

Nalda stated that the team came up with the concept by analyzing the fundamental components of glass bottles.

Prior to launching their product on the market, the MENRO has conducted tests to ensure the product’s durability.

“We all know naman na ang bote ay gawa sa sand kaya ito na rin ang ginagamit namin na alternative na pang halo para sa pag gawa ng hollow blocks,” she revealed.

“Nagkaroon lang kami ng testing at sinimulan lang namin sa aming mga empleyado at nakita naman ang durability ng product na maganda naman,” Malda said

At present, hollow blocks are sold for P13 per unit, whereas gravel and sand are sold for P10 per kilo, P800 per cubic meter.

“Sa municipal treasurer po sila nagbabayad kung gusto nila bumili at napupunta po itong income sa trust fund ng munisipyo,” she explained.

The environment officer also stated that they intend to operate the program full-time by next year, as funding is already available.

The MENRO also intends to share the technology with local organizations as an alternative source of income.

Long-term, the office intends to construct a complete eco hollow block demonstration community for testing purposes.

“Ang kagandahan nito sa environment ay instead na maging basura na lang, at minsan binabahayan pa ng lamok, ay napapakinabangan pa natin sya at nakakagawa tayo ng eco-hollow block,” the MENRO added.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.