TISA’S BRIGHT TREE OF TRASH
A Christmas tree of discarded chairs and junk is drawing people to barangay Tisa in Cebu City.
The outdoor decor was barangay captain Philip Zafra’s idea of encouraging people to recycle trash and practice waste segregation.
The result is a unique 25-foot display of monobloc chairs, wooden armchairs and used tires painted red, yellow and green outside the barangay hall.
Th environment-conscious mantra of “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle” is the theme of Tisa’s first barangay Christmas tree.
This installation, which looks like pop art, is a becoming a frequent subject of selfies and souvenir photos.
“Our problem is garbage. Of course it’s our obligation to collect garbage in the area but the idea of residents cooperating through household waste segregation has not yet sunk in,” he said.
The practice of sorting out bottles, cans and setting aside biodegradable material like food scraps, paper, grass cuttings and leaves for composting is not yet popular in urban Cebu neighborhoods.
The problem of waste collection intensified in Cebu city with the closure of the Inayawan landfill last January and City Hall’s budget shortage for collection and tipping fees in September.
Zafra said he noticed the damaged stocks of monobloc chairs in the barangay hall and thought he could put it to good use.
The Tisa Elementary School donated their dilapidated wooden armchairs.
The first layer of the tree is made of discarded rubber tires. The star-like design of the “spokes” of the tire is made of empty plastic water bottles – all materials recovered during barangay cleanups of canals and rivers, said Zafra.
The elements are piled up high and tied together by wire.
The only cash expense for the barangay was the metal base and pole for the tree. The rest of the decor come from discards.
Felix Cabahug, chief of staff in barangay Tisa, said residents drop by to take pictures. National government agencies have asked their help in making a similar Christmas tree.
More recycled decor will be put up for the season, said Zafra.
The Christmas tree will be blessed on Wednesday, December 16, the first day of the nine-day “Misa de Gallo” along with the barangay’s model nativity scene or “belen”.
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