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Trade that junk

Business sector\\\'s initiative at making recycling more accessible to the public snowballs into an open market for trading household junk.
By Mari-An Santos |

The Philippine Business for the Environment (PBE) was established in January 1992 with the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Rio Earth Summit, as the driving force. The PBE was spearheaded by Washington Z. Sycip as the business sector\\\'s contribution to the Philippine government\\\'s preparations for the summit. Through the PBE, the country\\\'s business and industrial sector acknowledged that they had an important role to play in addressing environmental concerns.


"After the Rio Summit, it made sense to continue the PBE\\\'s activities," says PBE Executive Director Lisa C. Antonio. Indeed,it was for this reason that the organization was formally incorporated as the Philippine Business for the Environment Inc., a non-stock, non-profit organization with the following four major areas of activity: (1) environmental information support, (2) environmental advocacy and education, (3) promotion of cleaner and environmentally friendly production technologies, and (4) linkage building. Its founding members came mostly from the country\\\'s manufacturing, service, energy, and banking sectors.



One of the fi rst major undertakings of the PBE was the continuation of the Industrial Waste Exchange Program (IWEP) that was initiated in 1996 by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR). The program provided a functional linkage between industries or companies that produce particular types of industrial waste, on one hand, and industries or companies that can reuse or recycle them, on the other. The idea picked up, more and more industries became more receptive to it, and the PBE has continued to implement the program to this day.


In 2001, the PBE opened the IWEP to wider participation. "We wanted to give the public an opportunity to get involved, too," says Antonio. Thus, during that same year, the Recyclables Collections Event (RCE) was born. The activity sought to make recycling more accessible to the public by actually letting them trade or sell their waste.



Since then, RCEs have been regularly held in partnership with various participating companies, with the events coinciding with Earth Day in April and with the Environment Month in June. The PBE"s regular partners in the activity were the Ayala Foundation Inc., Ayala Group, Ayala Malls, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., ABS-CBN Foundation Inc., Rockwell Land Inc., First Philippine Holdings Corp., Industry Estates, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and SM City Davao.

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