Closure and rehab plan
Cebu City residents can only hope that the proposed closure and rehabilitation plan for the Inayawan landfill to be presented tomorrow will pass the stringent requirements set by law, specifically Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
The plan will be presented by Cebu City Hall’s City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) in a meeting with the Solid Waste Management Board and is in compliance to a Supreme Court order that in turn reaffirmed a Court of Appeals ruling that ordered the closure and rehabilitation of the Inayawan landfill.
With the City Council — or at least the administration majority bloc Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) — approving the special land use permit for the Binaliw landfill project despite objections from the opposition, the city’s move to a new landfill is underway and not a minute too soon.
Complementing that landfill transfer is a proposed waste to energy facility near the landfill which will be studied by a consultancy firm to verify its viability. We hope that extensive public hearings will be held on this as environmental groups allege that waste to energy or waste incineration violates the Clean Air Act.
At the same time, the city government should double down on its waste segregation and recycling programs which would facilitate the faster rehabilitation of the Inayawan landfill site.
As things stand now, City Hall pays hundreds of millions of pesos to transfer the city’s garbage from transfer stations at the Inayawan landfill to landfill facilities in Consolacion town and other areas in Cebu province.
The recent initiatives set by the City Environment and Natural Resources office such as a biofence made of recycled materials that can collect garbage dumped into rivers by apathetic households showed that the city government is headed into the right direction in its waste collection program — and it didn’t even require millions of pesos in funds for feasibility studies to
There is little doubt that the city’s garbage problem would become an election issue next year and both sides will offer their solutions and ventilate righteous outrage over the continuing failure to resolve the garbage problem.
But all this grandstanding and finger-pointing are most unwelcome since solutions are needed and not politicking. At a time when other local governments already set up their own landfill — Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental, northern Mindanao, set up their own landfill less than one year after closing their own dumpsite and it had less financial resources than the QueenCity of the South — it is more than imperative for Cebu City to install its own landfill.
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