The long, controversial road to approval of the PhP300 million Alburquerque Cluster Sanitary Landfill (ACSLF) was finally achieved after the Department of Environment and Natural Resource (DENR) – Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 gave their go-ahead for the operation of the first cluster sanitary landfill in the country.
A “Notice to Proceed” with the full operation of the ACSLF was issued on March 30, 2017 and was signed by Engr. Anecita Q. Dinoy, Officer in Charge of the Office of the EMB Regional Director.
The 6.9-hectare ACSLF is located in Barangay Dangay, Alburquerque with an estimated 18-year lifespan and the final disposal site of 39,317 kilograms of daily residual waste from 16 municipalities and one city. Â
RechalÂ M. Ybanez, Chief of the Solid Waste Management Section announced that the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Alburquerque represented by Mayor Elpren Charles M. Tungol shall operate the ACSLF subject to 21 conditions.
Ybanez likewise sealed the ordered opening of the landfill after she warned SB members of Albur blocking the landfill operation that DENR will file the case against Albur LGU considering their continued use of an open dumpsite which is now prohibited by law.
The EMB official led guests during the premier broadcast ofÂ “Bohol Chamber Forum”Â of the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc (BCCI) and station dyRD held at the Belian Hotel last Friday.
The minimum considerations coverÂ water quality monitoring of surface and ground waters and effluent, and gas emissions, groundwater sampling protocol and the stringent protocol on the unloading and handling of residual wastes disposedÂ of in the landfill.
Tungol together with his father, former Mayor Efren Tungol and mayors of the 17 ACSLF members accepted the certification during the consultative meeting with mayors and DENR-EMB 7 on March 31,Â 2017Â at Cafe Dolores, Bohol Tropics Resort.
The EMB also recommended that the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Alburquerque adopt a resolution confirming compliance with the siting, design criteria and standards as a requirement deemed as having fully satisfied the public sensitivity requirement.
STUMBLING BLOCKS CLEARED
Facing strong opposition from the community and plagued by more than 10 years of numerous social, legal, political and environmental issues that hounded its construction, Governor Edgar Chatto heaved a sigh of relief said, Â “The last obstacle has already been hurdled.”Â
Chatto who was then the chair of the committee on tourism in Congress lined up the financial grant for the ACSLF with the defunct Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), the forerunner of the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
Governor Edgar Chatto hailed the turn-over and operation of the ACSLF as the “fulfillment of a concept hatched more than 10 years ago seeking a collaborative effort to meet the waste disposal needs of the province in the next 20 years.”
A potential obstacle in the smooth operation of the ACSLF was the reluctance of cluster members to fork out PhP100 thousand seed money to answer for the operational needs of the landfill and the Php1,300.00 tipping fee per ton.
The cluster members raised concern over the ownership of the landfill due to the failure of TIEZA to complete the transfer of the ownership of the 14 lots that comprise the 6.9 hectares ACSLF from the defunct PTA under whose name the lots are registered.
However, Governor Edgar Chatto confirmed to the 17 cluster members that the Commission on Audit has given verbal assurance that the proposed memorandum of agreement in lieu of the title of ownership of 14 lots bought by the Philippine Tourism Authority(PTA) will legally stand.
“The MOA is a valid legal document according to the COA,” according to Chatto.
An assessment and evaluation report with actual site assessment on March 9, 2017 showed that that ACSLF is a category 2 landfill (receiving 38.5 tons per day of residual wastes only).
The sanitary landfill is not considered as an environmentally critical project (ECP) and is not located in an environmentally critical area (ECP) and falls under enhancement/mitigation/restoration project.
As for the stability of the sanitary landfill, the EMB report noted that the facility remained intact and stable after the 2013 earthquake.
The report relied on the feasibility study (FS) related to leachate pipes, leachate storage facility, installation of gas pipe-vents, location of 3 groundwater monitoring wells and placement of clay liners.
STRICTLY RESIDUAL WASTE ONLY
The ACSLF will not accept direct garbage disposal and will require all garbage trucks to secure a certificate that the garbage to beÂ disposedÂ ofÂ were inspected by personnel of the municipal transfer stations.
Each municipality will dump their residual wastes once a week with Tagbilaran City and are given the option to disposeÂ of their wastes more than once a week in consideration to the volume of their trash.
According to the Waste Assessment and Characterization Study (WACS) conducted by the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) in 2015, daily residual waste produced by the 17 cluster members was 39,317 kilograms.
The top three biggest daily residual waste generators were Tagbilaran City – 9452, Baclayon – 8,820 and Panglao – 3,510.
Dauis – 3,241, Loon – 2,983, Maribojoc – 1,604, Calape, 1575, Loboc – 1,444, Corella – 970, Dimiao – 914, Balilihan – 832, Antequera – 830, Loay – 803 and Sikatuna – 790.
The towns of Lila – 185, Cortes – 617 and Alburquerque – 747 rounded up the bottom of the 16 towns that generated the least residual waste.
During the “Chamber Forum” which was aired live over dyRD last Friday, EMB’s Ybanez clarified thatÂ total collection from the 17 cluster LGUs would total to 215.74 tons daily.Â Â
She said about 48% of the total amount if biodegradable, 24% recyclable 18% residual and 10% special wastes.Â
The residual waste which is allowed at the Albur landfill is estimated at 38.545 tons/day. based on the 2015 WACS (Waste Analysis and Characterization Study).
Â Ybanez further said that pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Guidelines of RA 9003, the operating plansÂ shall include provisionsÂ for coordinating the recycling and resource recovery projects.Â
The EMB official stressed that the management of the biodegradable and recyclables is the responsibility of each barangayÂ but the municipality and city may help if it couldÂ contain such in a centralized NRF.
She reminded the LGUs to strictly implementÂ segregation of wastesÂ at source. She called the LGUs to “reduce , reuse, recycle to refused products. (Chito M. Visarra)