Thousands of residents including those from nearby cities and towns were treated to an early fun-filled holiday experience as the local government switched on its Christmas display over the weekend.

Dubbed “Light a Tree,” this year’s attraction highlighted the use of recycled plastic materials, mostly bottles, in illuminating the entire municipal hall grounds of the southern Negros Occidental locality.

Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Manguilimutan, on the sidelines of the switch on ceremony, said the objective of the program is to engage the community in collecting and recycling plastic preventing them from loitering the streets, clogging the canals and polluting the environment. She said the municipal government is serious in implementing measures toward environment protection and conservation like reducing plastic footprint in the locality.

“Since we have yet to establish our own sanitary landfill, we have to look first for strategies to lessen our garbage,” she said, adding that they need to recycle the non-biodegradable.

The “Light a Tree” activity is just one of the town’s efforts in support to its solid waste management program.

The mayor said there are already pending ordinances relative to management of wastes like the implementation of “plastic holiday” in the market and other establishments.

“Through this environment-friendly Christmas attraction, we hope to inculcate positive values and spur awareness on environment protection among residents especially the youth,” she stressed.

Basing on the “floral fantasy” concept, participating elementary and high schools creatively transformed the municipal hall grounds into a big garden-like attraction where colorful and bright flowers blossom.

Aside from recycled plastic, other features of the Christmas attraction included the use of light-emitting diode (LED) lights that gives revelers selfie and groufie-perfect spots.

“This is a holiday destination for all especially families,” Nicor -Manguilimutan said, adding that “it is actually a competition.”

The schools were clustered into six groups to make the Christmas attraction that will run until January 5 next year.

The winning group will receive P100, 000 in cash prize while second and third places will receive P75, 000 and P50, 000, respectively. Other groups will receive consolation prices of P20, 000 each.