February 26, 2006

As February 16 deadline expires
DENR OKs continued use of LC landfill
Says ‘progressive process’ enough

With the requirements for the Laoag City dumpsite to become a sanitary landfill still incomplete, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau (DENR-EMB)-regional office has approved its continued operation as it said the “progressive process” being done on the facility was enough.

The “progressive process” mentioned by the environment office meant the continuous construction of the required infrastructure at the landfill.

City assistant engineer Fred Agpaoa made this announcement after DENR-EMB personnel visited the facility early this month and approved the continued operation of the facility following the city government’s fulfillment of the minimum requirement prescribed by the environment officials.

The minimum requirements were the construction of a leachate pond and the installation of perforated pipes.

Agpaoa said the city government’s next target is the construction of a retaining wall and a drainage system as he said he is hopeful the approved initial budget of P6.7 million would suffice for the needed infrastructure’s completion.

Presently, the sanitary landfill is 65 percent complete based on DENR’s specifications.

Agpaoa also mentioned that with the improvement at the garbage facility and the strict implementation of proper garbage disposal, the DENR no longer considers it as an open dumpsite.

However, Agpaoa again appealed for the stricter implementation of the garbage segregation policy from the source so garbage collectors would not have a harder time segregating garbage at the landfill.

With this development, Agpaoa discouraged garbage scavengers from going to the landfill since collected garbage are immediately being treated at the facility—or are being immediately covered with soil right after they are dumped—and scavengers would no longer have time to forage for recyclable items.

He then advised scavengers to go to the sources of garbage instead.

The city government official also added that with this situation, the materials recovery facility (MRF) at the landfill may also be removed and placed elsewhere since it may no longer be used.

Reacting to this, Mayor Michael V. Fariñas expressed his gratitude to the DENR for considering the “progressive process” being done by the city government as basis for approving the continued operation of the garbage facility.

However, Fariñas expressed doubts if the appropriated budget of P6.7 million would be enough for the completion of the landfill as he added that the sanitary landfill in San Fernando City, La Union cost P160 million.

Earlier, Fariñas had asked for financial support from US Aid but there had been no development yet on his request as of press time.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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