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Garbage solutions

May 07,2015 - 01:17 PM


When Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama first disclosed through his point man lawyer Jade Ponce his plan to convert the former Inayawan landfill site into a mixed-use development project, not a few came away admitting that his plan looks promising.

Even while the Inayawan landfill  had yet to be closed last January, Ponce disclosed that the city government already has a plant that converts plastic waste materials into alternative fluff fuel to be sold at profit to construction companies.

The P30-million Mansei recycling plant was a pilot project sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Mansei Recycle Systems in Yokohama, Japan.

Aside from providing employment, the plant, said to be built at no cost to the city, would  also provide safer carbon neutral fuel to construction companies who use coal or oil.

The plan looks promising and would have encountered little resistance in the council, and maybe drawn wider support, were it not for the expeditious way  settlers were made to vacate the  landfill  and the prospect of the city paying a substantial amount  to deliver   garbage to a private landfill site in Consolacion.

The  Mandaue City government recently reopened the Umapad landfill site. The system there merits a closer look at the   waste management program.

In reopening the Umapad landfill, formerly a dumpsite, the Mandaue City government dug a huge pit and lined it with plastic, then treated it with chemicals so that the dumped garbage  won’t produce leachete – the  dissolved liquid waste that could make its way into the Mactan channel or underground water reservoirs.

Pipes were  installed to allow methane gas to escape. Soil was dumped over the garbage which is then flattened, allowing it to be used as a landfill that meets standards set by the Department ofEnvironment and Natural Resources (DENR) which supposedly issued an Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the area.

By building a better landfill  and setting up a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), Mandaue City reduces the volume of garbage it sends to the landfill  in Consolacion from 450 tons to 100 tons and its tipping fees costs by about P1 million.

Credit goes to Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and his people for enforcing the program, guided by environment consultant, lawyer Ben Cabrido.

Mayor Rama is asking the city government for P50 million for tipping fees, a proposal the City Council has deferred.

In comparing the two urban efforts of  managing solid waste,  Cebu City  should ask whether the commercial development plan for Inayawan is doable before 2016 and sustainable.

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TAGS: garbage, landfill, MRF, solid waste management

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