ANGONO, Rizal — There’s cash in what used to be a place for recyclable trash. 

Before and after photos of Sitio Labahan Eco Garden (Photo from Barangay San Isidro, Angono and Angono Municipal Government/MANILA BULLETIN)

What used to be a dumpsite full of non-biodegradable plastics and recyclable materials in Angono, Rizal is now a place that gives additional income and fresh vegetables to residents in a small community here.

Residents of Sitio Labahan in Barangay San Isidro, Angono, are now starting to enjoy their harvest of organically-grown vegetables such as “upo” (bottle gourd); “okra” (lady finger); string beans, eggplant, and other vegetables  after four months since the ecological garden was established in the area which is part of the so- called ‘May Puso Ecological Park (Eco Park) and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)’.

The eco garden, managed by Sitio Labahan residents themselves, is the town’s entry to the Search for the best Ecological Waste Management and Gardening in MRFs organized by the provincial government.

Alan Maniaol, chief of staff of Mayor Jeri Mae Calderon, told the Manila Bulletin that the members of the community and local environmental group Saranay at Kalikasan went into  vegetable gardening after being trained by the local government on basic gardening techniques.

Using the compost materials that were generated from the biodegradable waste that were processed at the MRF, the community vegetable gardeners have managed to produce vegetables that are all organic and pesticide-free.

The MRF which was established by the municipal government a few years ago,  is where sacks of garbage from nearby communities are sorted out for recycling. Non biodegradable wastes such as empty plastic bottles and glass bottles are separated for selling later while biodegradable wastes such as household and kitchen wastes are processed into composts and fertilizers.

The municipal government hopes that the vegetable garden would grow and continue to benefit the community as it is being envisioned to sustain the vegetable needs of the residents and provide additional income for them. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (