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Christmas in the park leaves truckloads of garbage

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – At least 10 truckloads of garbage were hauled from Rizal Park where holidaymakers spent Christmas, the National Park Development Committee (NPDC) said yesterday.

NPDC executive director Elizabeth Espino said the cleanup started at 5 a.m. yesterday and by 2 p.m., 10 trucks were filled with garbage and work was still ongoing.

It has been a tradition for many Filipino families to spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at Rizal Park.

This year, the number of park goers reached 300,000 on Dec. 24, some of whom stayed overnight.

And by Christmas Day, the number of visitors swelled to about half a million, according to Espino.

There were 200 garbage cans and garbage bags placed in different locations all over the 57-hectare park, so the NPDC is wondering why so much plastic and leftover food were scattered everywhere. 

“There were styro food packs placed behind the landscapes. They tried hiding their trash so we had to use tongs to pry the garbage out. There were also plastics which might have been blown by the wind and no one bothered to pick them up,” Espino said.

There were also long queues going to the comfort rooms, especially the ladies’ room. To keep the comfort rooms clean, the NPDC had the floors of the rooms mopped every two hours.

The NPDC expects a bigger crowd at the park during New Year’s Eve because of a free concert.

“The free concert starts at 6 p.m. and would last until past midnight because we would have a countdown and there would be fireworks,” Espino said.

Last year, more than 100,000 people went to the park and some even stayed overnight.

For those who plan to welcome the New Year at the park, Espino suggested that they bring plastic containers for their leftover food and plastic bags for their garbage.

ACIRC CHRISTMAS DAY CHRISTMAS EVE ELIZABETH ESPINO EVE AND NEW YEAR GARBAGE NATIONAL PARK DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE NEW YEAR PARK RIZAL PARK YEAR
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