The rehabilitation of the recently shut down open dumpsite in Tagbilaran City will start in January next year as part of a long process that will eventually turn the area into an eco-park, a city environment official said.
The initiative, set in motion after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ordered the city to cease and desist the operation of the dumpsite in Barangay Dampas last month, will be funded by a P13-million budget from the local government unit’s quick response fund (QRF).
Use of the QRF was approved by the Tagbilaran City Council during its regular session on Monday.
According to Tagbilaran City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) officer-in-charge Caesar Pelaez, the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau also allocated P7 million for the project.
The funds were earmarked for the rehabilitation which will take six months to complete and the purchase of material recovery facility (MRF) equipment.
“Ma-covered na g’yud na atong open dumpsite,” Pelaez said.
However, the site will still have to undergo various post-closure maintenance activities to ensure that it is already free of contamination and leachate, or the liquid produced in a dumpsite from the decomposition of wastes, before it can be turned into a public park.
According to Pelaez, they are building fences around the dumpsite itself so they may be allowed to reopen the city’s MRF which is located within the site’s compound whose gate was padlocked by the DENR.
Local authorities will open a new gate for the MRF allowing garbage collectors and other personnel to enter the facility without gaining access to the dumpsite beside it.
Pelaez said that they would still have to secure an approval from the DENR before they open a new gate and start operations at the MRF.
Meanwhile, the Tagbilaran LGU has been temporarily using a transfer station in Barangay Cabawan for the residual wastes of the city’s 15 barangays with a total population of 100,000.
Mayor Baba Yap started to enforce a stern segregation-at-source policy which is also mandated by Republic Act No. 9003, also known as the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.”
The city has no longer been collecting non-residual wastes which are being left out on the streets after the dumpsite’s closure in November.
“Kanang mga naa sa kalsada, gidisiplina ra nato na. Og kuhaon nato na [garbage], ang mahitabo magpabilin ra sila gihapon. So disiplinahon nato ang mga taw hantod sa madisiplina sila sa pagsegregate sa basura,” he said.
According to Yap, residents have started to understand the need for segregation and to comply with the policy as seen through the rising volume of residual wastes collected by the city.
“Gamay nalang g’yud kaayo ang percentage sa wala nakasabot,” he said. (A. Doydora)