Philippines: Resident Make The Best Out Of Taal Eruption And Turn Ash Into Bricks
Jan 19, 2020

Residents of the Filipino city of Binan in Laguna province, which was affected by the Taal volcano eruption last week, have resorted to mix volcanic ash with plastic waste to make bricks and rebuild houses and schools.

The ash from the volcano is combined with sand, cement and discarded plastic to make around 5,000 bricks per day for local construction projects.

After the volcano erupted on January 12, environmental officials in the region attempted to come up with an inventive and sustainable response to the country’s continuing problems with pollution and frequent natural disasters.

“Instead of stacking the ashes on something, we can turn it into something useful. And it also includes plastics, “said city environment officer Rodelio Lee.

The mayor of Binan asked the residents to collect the fine gray ash that surrounds houses, cars and roads and to put them in bags for shipment to a state factory.

“When the ashes came, we thought we would exchange the white sand that we mix with plastic to be turned into bricks with ashes. We did it and they came out strong,” mayor Walfredo Dimaguila told Reuters.

A number of buildings near the Taal volcano were destroyed as heavy ash crushed makeshift roofs and fell trees. Rays of lava and 15-kilometer ash walls have sent more than 100,000 people to emergency evacuation centers.

Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes with much uncertainty about whether they still have homes to return to, while authorities warn that a much more serious eruption can happen at any time.

“When Batangas is recovering, we will bring the stones there to build schools, community halls and livelihoods, so that we can return what Taal has taken from them,” Dimaguila said, adding that “the damage to our neighbours in Batangas is done, let’s turn this into opportunity. “