Turning used cooking oil into bricks? LGUs urged to emulate Marikina’s recycling initiative

July 13, 2022 - 3:54 PM
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A roving tricycle driver collects used cooking oil from residents in Barangay Kalumpang in Marikina City on July 6, 2022 (PNA/Joey Razon)

Some Filipinos expressed hoped that Marikina City’s recycling initiative will be emulated in other cities in the country.

The Marikina City government previously resumed its recycling program. Items recycled include used cooking oil, plastic bags and styrofoam.

This was reported by the Philippine News Agency on July 6.

PNA also attached photos that showed a collector of used cooking oil making his rounds at Barangay Kalumpang in the city.

“The city government has reinvigorated the recycling program, including turning used cooking oil, Styrofoam and plastic bags into decorative bricks that are used in making pavements and benches,” the report reads.

The post had since received 1,000 reactions, 44 comments and 560 shares on the platform.

Many Filipinos were impressed by this initiative based on the comments section.

Others also hoped that other local government units will follow suit.

“Nice! Nationwide implementation of this program would be great,” one Facebook user said.

“Hoping for a nationwide implementation for this kind of recycling program. Sana ibang LGU’s gayahin to,” another user commented.

The program called “From Wastes to Landscape” aims to recycle waste products into valuable bricks or blocks as sustainable alternative construction materials for the city’s residents.

According to a report by Noli Soli, the local government started recycling used cooking oil in 2008.

Back then, a collector would visit residences to gather discarded cooking oil until it fills up a barrel.

This oil will later be processed into fuel.

By 2012, based on a report, the project expanded to include plastic bags and Styrofoam products.

To achieve the transformation, the City Environmental Management Office (CEMO) of Marikina uses a machinery that comprises a shredder and a styro-plastic densifier to process the waste materials.

Personnel of the CEMO learned of this technology from one of the seminars of the Department of Science and Technology.  

In 2015, photos of the entire conversion process of discarded Styro, plastic bags and cooking oil were posted in a collage on the Facebook page of Marikina’s Public Information Office.

According to the post, the process starts with melting waste styro and plastic bags in cooking oil at a controlled heating temperature via densification.

This therefore converts them into “rigid, functional products.” These are bricks, pavement blocks and garden pots.

In 2019, Marikina City implemented a scheduled collection of used cooking oil in each barangay.

Residents were encouraged not to throw away their cooking oil.

“Tandaan na bawal magtapon ng mantika kung saan saan lamang dahil ito ay isa sa mga nakasisirang pollutants sa ating kapaligiran,” the post reads.

This system was only reinvigorated this year amid the relaxed COVID-19 Alert Level 1 status implemented in most parts of the country.