September 26 - October 09, 2005

(Un)sanitary landfill
LC dumpsite faces closure

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) Regional Office announced that a closure order had been issued on the Laoag City Sanitary Landfill after the said facility had been evaluated. However the closure order had been deferred by the government agency after Laoag City had been put under a state of calamity as a result of the devastation wrought by typhoon “Labuyo”.

Alex Almojela, a DENR-EMB representative, personally evaluated the city’s landfill last week and stated that what was believed to be a Sanitary Landfill is simply an “Open Dumpsite.”

Almojela said the facility’s present condition does not even merit it to be classified as a “Controlled Dumpsite”, the next step before a garbage facility can be classified as a “Sanitary Landfill.”

And with this failure in its nine years of operation, the DENR-EMB has recommended that the dumpsite be closed and operations in the facility to be discontinued. But the said order would still be deferred as environment officials had given Laoag City officials the time to take the necessary steps in remedying the situation.

Reacting to this, Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas suggested that the segregation of wastes into biodegradable and non-biodegradable be strictly implemented as this would facilitate the job of landfill staff into dumping the wastes in their proper places at the dumpsite.

Fariñas also appealed to city residents to cooperate by segregating their garbage.

The city executive officials earlier blamed the Sangguniang Panlungsod for the deterioration of the landfill condition after the budget for the facility has been delayed.

In view of the current situation, Fariñas said he would continue asking the councilors to appropriate a budget for the landfill so the city government could rectify the situation.

Meanwhile, Ms Gloria F. Peralta, city administrator, recommended that officials concerned should conduct a “Lakbay-Aral” in Candon City, Ilocos Sur, which had been awarded as the most effective in the implementation of the Zero Waste Management and Effective Waste Disposal program, and in Barangay Lingsat, San Fernando City, La Union which had been honored for having the best materials and recovery facility (MRF) in the entire country.

Those who are expected to join the trip are the members of the Zero Waste Management Board, the Association of Barangay Councils board of directors, and the city’s local finance committee.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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