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Recycling in Manila

by Jen Chrystman

No big trucks. No tedious sorting. More smiles. More “thank yous”.

Several times each week, kids at the gate are calling “hello” and hoping for some plastic, tin cans or cardboard.

In fact they say a polite “no” to very little that I can offer in the way of recycled containers. Some look about 4 years old and come alone with their plastic bags. Older ones come with rice sacks and often with a friend. I see others sorting through the big bins outside others’ homes and roaming through empty lots for treasures.

​​​​​As I give them a cold drink and all our recycle stuff, I think of my boss, Fred.

When his dad died years ago, he worked as a recycle guy before school each day to earn money to buy rice and fish. Now, he’s our CEO of Bukang Liwayway Dawn for the Poor and completing a Masters in Theology! It’s an honour to play a small part in the life of these young entrepreneurs. Who knows what organization they will lead when they’re older!

More smiles. More prayers. More hope. I love it when God jumps into the recycle business and changes lives!

Jen Chrystman was coordinating short term teams visiting and working with the urban poor ministry known as Bukang Liwayway. She now manages the OMF Calapan Center guest house.

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