BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Bureau (EMB-CAR) disclosed that Baguio city will be one of the first local governments in the country to have a modern waste disposal transfer station once the city completes the on going projects in the said site.
EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo said the agency has issued a directive to the City General Services Office to start using the existing chute to comply with the no-touchdown policy supposedly being already implemented in the area.
Earlier, the local government secured an authority from Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol for the use of a 5,000-square meter portion of the Baguio Dairy farm as its temporary waste transfer station while it is continuous to search for a permanent site for the establishment of its proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility for the city to have a long-term solution to its garbage disposal woes. The temporary waste transfer station will serve as an area where the city’s garbage trucks will transfer the collected residual waste from the various pickup points in the city’s 128 barangays to the trucks of the commissioned hauler before this is transported to the engineered sanitary landfill in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.
“We want to test the operation of the newly constructed chute to determine whether or not it can properly function and defects can be detected for timely corrective measures to be taken by the contractor prior to its full use anytime, ”Digamo stressed.
The EMB-CAR official claimed there are instances when the hauler’s trucks are not able to immediately return to the temporary waste transfer station to haul the generated waste because of certain problems in the dumping of the waste in the landfill which is beyond the control of the local government.
According to him, what is important is for the local government to complete the operation of the chute and the installation of the needed sheds to cover the area so that the garbage will not be exposed to the elements and produce obnoxious odor that will again be the subject of numerous complaints from the residents living in the vicinity of the temporary transfer station.
The local government earmarked a total of P11.7 million for the implementation of various projects within the temporary waste transfer station to make it compliant to existing environmental laws, rules and regulations, especially the strict adherence of the garbage trucks and hauler to the no-touchdown policy, the installation of sheds to prevent water from seeping into the garbage, and the concreting of the pavement to guarantee cleanliness and orderliness in the place to address the issues and concerns being raised by residents living near the vicinity of the obnoxious odor emanating from the stockpiled garbage causes inconveniences them.
Based on the report received by the EMB-CAR, the project being implemented by the local government is around 80 percent complete and the same will be finished by February next year.
By Dexter A. See