Harvard took America Recycles Day to the next level on Monday (Nov. 15), choosing to use the day to celebrate the annual Mt. Trashmore tradition. One day every fall, students and staff construct the pile, which represents one day’s trash from Harvard Yard. The idea is to educate the Harvard community about the importance of waste reduction and recycling.This year’s Mt. Trashmore was made up of about 300 bags of trash. The heap, about 10 feet high, was constructed by Green ’14 students in coordination with the FAS Green Program, Office for Sustainability, and Harvard Recycling. Green’14 is a group of Harvard freshmen dedicated to making the Class of 2014 the greenest ever. They estimated that if it weren’t for Harvard’s 55% recycling rate, Mt. Trashmore would have been 15 feet tall and more than twice the volume.Days earlier, Harvard Recycling and students with the FAS Green program conducted Harvard’s 13th annual waste audit of undergraduate residences. The results showed that 25% of the trash could have been recycled – the lowest fraction of recyclables in the trash since the waste audits began in 1999. Last year, 32% of the sampled trash was recyclable.Dressed in protective gowns, dust masks, goggles and gloves, auditors held their gag reflexes in check and separated the refuse into five categories: single-stream recyclables (paper, cardboard, bottles, cans, cups and containers made of plastics 1-7); reusables; compostables; liquids; and other residuals (trash). “Boxes, water bottles, and coffee cups were the most abundant recyclables I saw,” said Rob Gogan, recycling and waste services manager for Facilities Maintenance Operations.The House Reuse Shelves expanded from four pilot Houses last year to all 12 Houses this year. That may be one reason for a reduction in reusables found in the trash, said Brandon Geller, undergraduate REP coordinator for the Office for Sustainability. He gave one example: “PfoHo’s Reuse Shelves are extremely active, with lots of clothing coming and going every week.”The waste-audit results showed that Harvard can improve by focusing on recycling beverage containers, said Gogan. For one, coffee cups can now be recycled as part of Harvard’s singlestream recycling.The Office for Sustainability’s October Green Tip of the Month focused on singlestream recycling, encouraging the community to improve our recycling rate.Click here to view a photo slideshow of the 2010 Mt. Trashmore on OFS’ Facebook page.
The social pension is released per semester orevery six months, thus each beneficiary gets P3,000. The release was originallydone every quarter but this was modified. ILOILO City – For this year as of Dec. 2, P1.4billion has so far been released to 246,421 social pensioners in WesternVisayas, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The 246,421 is 70 percent of the 365,908target beneficiaries of the national government’s Social Pension Program forIndigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) in the region, said Judith Tañate- Barredo,DSWD Region 6 social pension focal person. Under SPISC, a monthly stipend of P500 isreleased to an indigent senior citizen. But in September this year, DSWD Region 6started releasing P6,000 to each beneficiary covering a whole year of pension. “We are waiting for more names ofbeneficiaries to be downloaded by our central office,” said Macapobre. “We hope to release the pension of theremaining beneficiaries before this year ends,” said Tañate- Barredo. The list of qualified social pensioners wasdownloaded to regional offices in batches. Even then, some pensioners complained nothaving received theirs. DSWD regional director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre said thiswas due to the revalidation of the list of beneficiaries by the department’scentral office. The senior citizen must have no permanentsource of income and/or frail, sickly or with disability. Senior citizens with regular support fromtheir families or have pensions from the Social Security System, GovernmentService Insurance System and/or private offices are not eligible for thepension, she stressed./PN