City’s sanitary landfill reached its limit

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The city’s sanitary landfill in Brgy. Sta. Lourdes already reached its limit that necessitates the opening of new disposal facility.

However, the City Government needs to finalize plans and allocate funds for the opening of the new site, which the City Environment and Natural Resources Office said that is now preparing since the existing landfill can no longer accommodate wastes in the coming months or years since it is already full.

“Kapos na ang lifespan ni landfill technically. Hindi na pwede si Sta. Lourdes. Nag-commit na si MGB (Mines and Geosciences Bureau) na tulungan kami para sa bagong site and we are doing the groundwork para sa initial activity ng relocation,” City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Atty. Carlo B. Gomez said.

He said that they are still finalizing the plans and did not reveal yet the details about the plan for the new disposal facility, in a barangay, a bit farther from the city proper.

He said that the solid waste management and landfill operations involve many aspects of operations and need to be taken seriously in order to improve its garbage collection services to the public.

“The operation of the landfill does not involve collection alone. 24/7 ang operations nito at maraming aspeto. Mas mabuti nga na isang separate department itong si Solid Waste,” Atty. Gomez explained.

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Andrew Russel, program manager of city’s solid waste management program, said that the landfill’s capacity has reached its limit already and the opening of new facility is urgent and timely.

“Noon pa man ay sinasabi ko na, na lampas-lampas na tayo siguro that was two years ago,” he said.

Russel further said that the landfill’s major problem is its defective and non-working Leachate Treatment Plant (LTP) and the presence of scrap buyers with temporary structures within the landfill.

The LTP’s function is important since this will treat the leachate before it will be be drained to outfall and nearby water bodies. National government regulatory agencies like the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) are regularly conducting monitoring and sampling within and outside the landfill, to check if the wastes or effluent discharged to rivers or any tributaries are within the general effluent standatds of the agency.

“Basic talaga doon na problema ay LTP. Pati ang mga junkshop sa loob ay binabawal na namin yan sila pero nandyan pa rin,” Russel said.

The Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Puerto Princesa, Felizardo Cayatoc, who also chairs the sectoral monitoring team of the Sanitary Landfill, said that he will visit to site to check the reported presence of structures owned by scrap buyers and asked them to vacate since it is risky to remain in the area.

He expressed support for the proposed relocation or opening of new landfill site but he admitted that opening new area will take time.

“Ang tawag ng media ay dumpsite na raw, at hindi na landfill. Hopefully mai-ayos at magawan natin ito ng solutions. Not only immediate solutions but also for medium term and long term solutions,” Cayatoc said

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