Returning to Inayawan landfill

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11:43 PM September 13th, 2017

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By: Editorial, September 13th, 2017 11:43 PM

The Cebu City Council’s approval of the P52.4 million worth of rehabilitation and remediation projects for the Inayawan landfill came before the council experienced yet another major numbers shakeup with the departure of Councilor Hanz Abella for a new post at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

With seven councilors opposing the allocation, the council approved the budget item that will include, among other things, the building of a causeway that will connect the landfill to the South Road Properties (SRP), and the recovery of a three-hectare service area of the landfill.

The last part is a major indicator that the city government plans to reuse the Inayawan landfill as its dumping site despite a Court of Appeals (CA) ruling to close the landfill for good — as in not using it ever again.

Sure, part of the P52.4-million allocation will go to greening and vegetation of some parts of the landfill in order to make it appear eco-friendly and legitimate, but the other indicators are there.

That includes the building of a perimeter fence and a leachate treatment facility to keep out the odors emanating from the landfill. As if setting up a garbage transfer station right at the Inayawan landfill is not enough indication of the city government’s plan to circumvent the CA ruling to close down the landfill for good.

Those who pushed to enforce the final closure of the Inayawan landfill, specifically those from the Barug Team Rama fold, may do so once a councilor allied with them is added to their numbers.

But the budget item for these projects has already been approved, and it will be only a matter of time before it gets underway. The administration had always wanted to use the Inayawan landfill to dump the city’s garbage there.

While critics will always complain about the mounting costs of disposing the city’s garbage, City Hall will always blame the landfill’s closure as the cause for the growing expenses for garbage collection and disposal.

In their view, the city will cut down on costs if it uses the Inayawan landfill — end of story. The firm they contracted to study the closure plan and rehabilitation may wind up recommending continued use of the landfill since they won’t bite the hand that feeds them.

If that’s the case, can the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) conduct a reassessment to determine if the landfill is still suitable for use or if it is high time for the city government to look for and develop a new landfill for the city’s use?

City residents should closely monitor these developments to see if they would be beneficial to them in the long run, and make a stand if they don’t.

The city cannot afford to risk damaging the Inayawan landfill further with more garbage than it already is swallowing beyond its capacity.

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