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May 23, 2021
For the past few months, Udi Shomer, a resident of Acacia Estates in Taguig City has been picking up litter during his free time along the neighboring roads in DMCI Homes’ 150-hectare residential township.
Mr. Shomer’s crusade started when he noticed the accumulated trash along C6.
“I used the C6 bike lane a few times for walking and biking and noticed that the area is full of trash and never gets cleaned,” said Mr. Shomer, a resident of The Birchwood which is one of the condominium communities located inside Acacia Estates.
“Since I helped a few families living there with donations before, I had an idea to clean the road and help them at the same time. So I offered them a ‘job’ at picking the trash twice a week and they were very happy,” he added.
As of May 6th, Mr. Shomer’s group has collected over 1,600 bags of trash along C6 and Cayetano Boulevard in Taguig City since they started the cleanup last January.
He is also often seen helping clean the Acacia Estates south road, sometimes joined by his fellow residents.
In cleaning up roads, Mr. Shomer has set modest goals, which he hopes to achieve in the next few weeks.
“My goal is that all trash on the C6 road will be new trash, meaning that we cleared all the old trash that accumulated over the years,” revealed Mr. Shomer who observed that most of the trash collected are plastic bags, sacks, wrappers, bottles, cups as well as paper, glass, metal, and cigarette buds.
Doing this allows him to contribute to the community he has embraced as his home, Mr. Shomer said.
“Since I’m a foreigner and can’t do anything within the system, it gives me a way to get involved and improve my neighborhood and the city I live in. You don’t need permissions or special tools for cleaning public spaces, by just having plastic bags and your able hands or some gloves to cover your hands if it is a bit sensitive to dirt are enough,” said Mr. Shomer, an Israeli, when asked why he started his road cleanup crusade.
“Instead of complaining or getting angry with the city, barangay, government or whoever, it is much more satisfying to go and do something to improve whatever you believe in,” he continued.
Mr. Shomer said apart from picking up litter, he also donates to environmental causes from time to time.
“I've been an environmentalist for more than 20 years. My favorite causes to donate to are tree planting and nature conservation. I also try to limit my environmental impact by riding a bicycle instead of driving, eating less meat, and using less single-use plastic” he shared.
Asked what his motivations for the cleanup, Mr. Shomer had this to say, “I don’t recall any special inspiration, a dirty environment just makes me agitated. I do remember a trip to Croatia with my family in 2017 when we cleaned up a beach there and it felt good to do that,” he enthused.
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