Landfill site eyed in Carmen town
With no sanitary landfill, towns and cities in Cebu province are resorting to dumping their garbage in commercial facilities which are costly or in open dumpsites, a practice that is already prohibited by law.
The Cebu provincial government is now working on establishing its own sanitary landfill and is considering a 17-hectare area in Barangay Dauis Sur, in Carmen town, northern Cebu as a potential site.
“Ato nang gitan-aw (We’re looking into that). We want to pursue that kay sayang (because it would be a waste). It’s said to be an ideal area for a landfill because the province really has none. If we pursue this within the year or in our term, we can have that through PPP (public-private partnership),” said Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III.
The facility, which was bought by the province during the time of former Gov. Gwen Garcia, would then be able to cater to wastes coming from northern Cebu towns, he said.
For southern Cebu towns, Davide said the province is yet to identify an area.
“There’s still no site because the DENR has been telling us that we really don’t have a place to dump our solid waste.
We want also to ensure that the environment is clean, and the people are safe from diseases,” he said.
Davide said the previous administration had been working on establishing a landfill.
He recalled that when he first sat down as governor in 2013, there was a private proponent who wanted him to sign an agreement for the project.
But the governor refused since he wasn’t aware of it yet.
The province set aside an initial budget of P5 million this year under the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) for site clearing of the area in Carmen.
This was one of several accomplishments of former PENRO chief Chad Estella who recently tendered his resignation to go back to Canada where his family is and where he is a permanent citizen.
“During my time from 2013 until now, I was able to jumpstart the construction of the sanitary landfill. We already secured an initial funding. Hopefully this will be continued and will be bidded out this year,” said Estella whose last day of work was last Friday, June 3.
Davide appointed Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) head Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. as interim officer-in-charge of the PENRO until they find a replacement.
Estella said the initial funding will only be for clearing and preparation of the site before it can be developed into a sanitary landfill.
He said a one-hectare of liner, or the protection that separates the landfill from the land, of the facility will cost between P1 million to P2 million.
The province will also need to secure requirements from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) like an Environmental Compliance Certificate.
But the DENR said they welcome the provincial government’s plan and are very willing to assist them with their requirements.
DENR 7 information officer Eddie Llamedo said they can enter into an agreement with the province to fasttrack the processing and provide assistance in formulating an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study which is another requirement for the facility.
“We welcome this proposal from the provincial government to open a sanitary landfill. It will entail a huge cost. So it would be good also if they push through with a PPP. The DENR can always provide assistance,” Llamedo told Cebu Daily News.
He said the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) will also have to conduct a suitability assessment of the site to determine if the location is ideal for a landfill
Llamedo said there are several indicators for this which include that it should not be located in a flood-prone area.
The MGB will also have to determine the kind of rock formation and soil material in the area and if it is far from households.
They also have to look at its proximity to water bodies and if there are groundwater reserves below it.
If the site is found to be compliant with these, he said the province will then pursue the EIA study which will identify the potential environmental risks of the sanitary landfill in the area.
He said there are a couple of existing sanitary landfills in the province including in Dalaguete and Talisay City in the south, Consolacion and Bogo City in the north and in Balamban town.
Llamedo said there is a private landfill in Consolacion town while the others are operated by the local governments.
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