TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government is setting its sights on the possible development of a 200-hectare land in Barangay Camp 1 for its own engineered sanitary landfill (ESL) to effectively and efficiently address the town’s solid waste disposal problems.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera said that before proceeding with the development of the site, the local government awaited the findings and recommendations of the Cordillera offices of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) on the feasibility of the identified potential landfill site.
“We decided that it is high time for the municipality to have its own sanitary landfill to address its current problem on the disposal of its garbage generated in the thirteen barangays for us to comply with the provisions of the solid waste management law,” Mayor Rivera stressed.
He said the local government spends more than P5.5 million annually for the hauling of the town’s residual waste to the Capas sanitary landfill, and it is still best for the municipality to have its own solid waste disposal facility to save on its increasing hauling expenses to bring residual waste outside the town.
Last year, the local government hauled out more than 952 tons of residual waste. For the first 11 months of this year, some 762 tons of residual waste were already brought to the Capas sanitary landfill through the town’s commissioned hauler.
According to him, the proposed site of the town’s sanitary landfill is distant from residences, rivers, and other sources of water. Local officials are confident the area will pass the stringent requirements prescribed by provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
Rivera underscored that the put up of the town’s solid waste disposal facility will have to undergo a tedious process, especially the free and prior informed consent (FPIC) of the affected indigenous peoples (IPs) and indigenous cultural communities (ICCs), to formulate a lasting solution to the town’s garbage disposal problem.
He explained the local government will be considering the accommodation of the residual waste from other neighboring towns of Benguet and Baguio City in the future once the town’s current garbage disposal problem is addressed by the proposed landfill, and that the project will be undertaken with a private partner capable of sustaining its operation for the prescribed duration.
He claimed it is still beset for the local government to venture with its own landfill within its area of jurisdiction. The municipality had been waiting for the proposed integrated solid waste facility in Benguet Corporation’s Antamok open pit site to be realized but it seemed the completion of the project will take more time to be fulfilled.
He rallied residents to support the planned establishment of a sanitary landfill for the town’s solid waste disposal facility for the benefit of better garbage disposal in the locality in the coming years. By HENT