Keeping an eye on landfill plans

By Editorial |November 26,2018 - 08:36 PM

Last Tuesday’s disclosure of Cebu City Hall’s post Inayawan landfill rehabilitation plans offer some features proposed by the previous administration and some new which may draw opposition from environmental groups.

Though Cebu City Environment Officer Ma. Nida Cabrera is quick to add that these are not yet final, a proposal to build a waste-to-energy plant had already been sought out by Mayor Tomas Osmeña as a seemingly viable solution to reducing the city’s garbage volume.

Three other proposals bear watching; a recreational park, a terminal for public utility vehicles and a solar panel farm which is a promising showcase for Cebu City’s commitment to renewable energy.

Again, setting up a park in what will soon be the former Inayawan landfill had been proposed during the watch of former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama. In fact there was a working facility that recycles and remade plastic wastes into usable materials for construction—whether it still operates to this day is something to look into.

A PUV terminal is always in demand as the city’s population grows and parking fees had become yet another profitable revenue stream for lot owners. But a solar panel farm, which is expensive to build yet provides a sustainable source of energy, can be realized provided City Hall is committed to seeing the project through.

All of these plans were contained in a study made by a consultancy firm hired by City Hall to finally implement the long-delayed rehabilitation of the Inayawan landfill which will take years to fully implement.

These are good plans especially the solar panel farm but what would need further study and dialogue is the waste-to-energy facility which may be acceptable for city residents unaware of some of its potential risks to the environment and their health.

Though waste-to-energy plants can process huge amounts of garbage and convert them into usable energy, the gaseous emissions emitted by them through incineration had been the subject of warnings by environmental groups who still insist on recycling, reusing and waste segregation as the safest, most eco-friendly waste disposal measures.

But the incumbent administration is determined to push through with the waste-to-energy facility with Cabrera disclosing that a three-hectare lot within the landfill area will serve as a suitable site for the plant.

Again, these are proposals but these are plans worth watching and keeping an eye on for city residents as it will determine whether they can finally resolve their perennial, seemingly worsening garbage problem.

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