BC asked to expand area for solid waste project

BAGUIO CITY May 25 – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants the management of the Benguet Corporation (BC) to expand the 24-hectare portion of its Antamok open pit site that it ceded to the local government so that the suitable area for the city's proposed integrated sanitary landfill could be included.

The local chief executive made the request after receiving a report from the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) that no area within the ceded property would qualify for the establishment of a landfill considering the terrain of the area.

"We will be setting a meeting with the technical personnel of the concerned government agencies, the local government and the company to discuss the possibility of expanding the area that Benguet Corporation earlier ceded to the city so that the suitable site for a landfill will be part of the area which could be immediately developed to host our proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility.

He added the local government is inclined to pursue the implementation of the establishment of the integrated solid waste disposal facility once the EMB-CAR will issue the required environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for the project when there will be a suitable area for the project provided that the social acceptability of the project will also be secured from the concerned local governments in the area.

According to him, BC management already insinuated its interest to expand that earlier area it ceded to the local government to include that area which will be determined by the EMB-CAR as suitable for the implementation of the project the soonest possible time.

While the local government is still finalizing whatever agreements that it could enter with BC and the Itogon municipal government, Domogan underscored that hauling out of the city's residual waste remains the best option to prevent the occurrence of garbage crisis that could again affect the image of the city as a premier tourist destination in the north, saying that the utilization of the temporary transfer station within the Baguio Dairy Farm will remain until it will come out with the permanent solution to the problem.

He admitted that hauling out of the city's generated residual waste to the Urdaneta sanitary landfill is expensive that is why the local government is aggressive in its efforts to find a permanent solution to the city's waste disposal problem that has been existent for over a decade now and that it has already substantially exhausted a huge chunk of the city's annual budget.

Once the proposed integrated solid waste facility will be realized, he explained that other neighboring towns in Benguet that do not have their permanent solution to their solid waste management problems will be able to use the said facility to address whatever problems that they are encountering in terms of solid waste disposal.

Part of the proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility will be a landfill, a centralized material recovery facility, an anaerobic digester, a special waste treatment plant, medical and toxic waste treatment plant, a waste to energy plant and the operation of the two Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines.

By Dexter A. See

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