By Francesca Merlo
A year of Waste Management Plan at the Salesian Don Bosco Technologial Institute (DBTI) in Port Moresby. This is how a group of young people are responding to Pope Francis's request to care for our common home.
Each year the Salesian Order focuses their work on a Strenna, or theme, released by the Rector Major, Fr Angel Artime. This year’s Strenna is “Good Christians, Upright Citizens”.
An article released on the website of the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands explains that the year of Integrated Waste Management at DBTI is motivated by Pope Francis’s Laudato Si' year, which began on 24 May. In addition, it emphasises “concrete inititives for the care of the environment as practical ways of exemplifying being upright citizens”.
The article, written by Fr Ariel Macatangay SDB, DBTI treasurer, explains that the council, focusing on Laudato Si', is “proposing attitudes to be developed each month”. The points of emphasis for the months of June, July and August are the three terms commonly used to designate practical care for the environment: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Waste Management at DBTI
There is a need for integrated Waste Management for DBTI, writes Fr Macatangay. Despite the numerous efforts focused on waste collections, such as the buying of willie-bins, weekly rubbish collection and selling of scrap metal “we are not sure if our rubbish is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way” and wish that all our waste be properly disposed of, with “our ultimate goal” being “Zero Waste”, he says.
In order to achieve this goal, Fr Macatangay calls for interested volunteers among both students and staff.
“In the meanwhile, efforts at recycling different types of waste are intensifying”, continues the article.
These initiatives at waste management take place even while the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. As of the moment, much of the effort in waste management is exerted by the student and staff residents. Soon, we hope to involve more and more people until every member of the educative pastoral community becomes aware and contributes responsibly for sustainable management of waste.
The future of Papua New Guinea
Finally, Fr Macatangay writes that as in other parts of the world, young people become protagnists of initiatives and concrete actions for the care and preservation of the environment. “We hope that our youths at DBTI and eventually of our locality can sustain their efforts at integrated waste management and contribute in making Papua New Guinea the Paradise of the Pacific”.