By: Edison Delos Angeles, Jose Santino S. Bunachita January 24,2015 - 12:23 AM

Several Talisay city officials aren’t keen on letting Cebu city take its garbage problem to Talisay’s  doorstep.

A two-hectare landfill in barangay Tapul, Talisay  is already nearing full capacity in two years, said Talisay  Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante.

He warned Talisay  Mayor Johnny delos Reyes against going ahead with an initial agreement made with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who has been exploring this option for several months.

“It would  be against the interest of the people of Talisay if we allow others to also dump in our landfill,” Villarente said.

The landfill in barangay Tapul, which started operated in 2005,  is located about a kilometer  from the Talisay City Hall.

A waste-to-energy project was approved by Mayor Delos Reyes who signed  an agreement with E3 Integrated Solutions but it  will not materialize yet in the next two years.

Cebu City’s 80 barangays are struggling with solid waste disposal after Mayor Michael Rama permanently closed the Inayawan landfill in Jan. 15.

The measure forces all communities to practice waste segregation, as provided by law, and for garbage trucks to transport solid waste to a landfill in Consolacion town in north Cebu.

For months Mayor Rama has been discussing with Talisay   Mayor delos Reyes an alternative to share use of the landfill in Tapul, Talisay. Rama said both mayors agree in principle, but no final decision has been made.

Under negotiation is an offer to pay Talisay city  tipping fees, which Cebu city pays P9.45 million a month to a private service contractor to transport trash to Consolacion.

However, no paperwork has reached the Talisay City Council, which is dominated by the mayor’s critics.

Vice Mayor Villarante said the mayor can’t seal an agreement over the landfill’s use without express authority from the City Council.

An exasperated Cebu City Mayor  Rama  appealed to set aside politics even as he warned that he could  shut road access  at the South Road Properties, which connects  both cities.

“Kung dili sila mosugot, dili sad ta mosugot kung ang Talisay na ang mohangyo. Ato na lang ipasirado ang SRP para dili makaagi ang mga taga-Talisay (If Talisay wont  allow the plan to push through, then we won’t oblige either if they ask something from us. Let’s just close down the SRP so that Talisay residents can’t pass through), ” Rama told reporters yesterday.

Vice Mayor Villarante explained that aside from having no authority from the City Council, the Talisay mayor  should wait for the full implementation of the waste-to-energy project with E3 Integrated Solution.

He said Talisay  City Hall should also comply first with DENR requirements for a proper landfill operation as well as widen roads leading to the facility.

The  Department of Environment and Natural Resources has repeatedly called the city government’s attention because the Tapul facility  was being operated like an open dump site, which is illegal.

The Talisay City sanitary landfill is adjacent to the Mananga watershed and is located inside the Central Cebu Protected Landscape.

Jade Ponce, head of Cebu City’s Solid Waste Management Board, said in an earlier interview that the two city mayors have been discussing a proposal to allow   transporting at  least 50 tons per day of Cebu City’s garbage to the  Talisay City landfill.

Councilor Antonio Bacaltos Jr., head of the Talisay City Council’s environment committee, said the proposal requires public consultation, especially with affected residents.

“Okay man unta na kay maka kwarta man sad ang syudad pero ato usa i-comply ang atong mga violations  (It would be all right since Talisay city would earn from the arrangement  but we have to comply with the law and correct our violations),” he said.

He said the Tapul dump site is already encroaching on nearby private lots and residents have been complaining about the foul odor emitted by garbage trucks that pass through communities on the way to the landfill.

Even if the proposed  waste-to-energy project starts, this is no guarantee that Talisay City can start accommodating solid waste from other local governments, he said.

Perfect the operation first,  before expanding.

“As of this time, we still cannot accommodate the request of Cebu City,” the vice mayor said.

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TAGS: Cebu City, garbage, Talisay

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