By Yolanda Sotelo
URDANETA CITY – This city will no longer allow other local government units and private companies to bring their solid wastes to the city’s engineered sanitary landfill after their contracts have ended.CLOSED. The engineered sanitary landfill of Urdaneta City would be used exclusively by the city starting next year when the contracts with other local government units would have expired. (Contributed photos)
This is because the facility is fast getting filled up and may not reach its planned life span of 10-12 years, Mayor Amadeo Perez IV said.
Urdaneta alone generates from 50-70 tons of solid wastes daily, while 16 local governments, 15 of which are in Pangasinan and one in Nueva Ecija, dump a total of from 20-30 tons daily into the facility, Perez said.
Only Urdaneta has an engineered sanitary landfill in Pangasinan, and only second to have the facility in the entire Region I. It was opened in April 2011 by then President Benigno Aquino. The other one is San Fernando City in La Union.
The facility covers a total area of six hectares with the total volume capacity sufficient to accommodate Urdaneta’s solid waste for the next 10-12 years. It sits on an 18-hectare city property in sitio Calegu in barangay Catablan.
Perez said the city collects P900 tipping fee for each ton of solid wastes from the other LGUs, but the city plans to triple the fee to P3,000 each ton for LGUs who still want to use the facility. He said P3,000 was the original tipping fee but lowered it “in consideration” of other LGU’s ability to pay.
The high tipping fee is meant to discourage LGUs to bring their wastes to the sanitary landfill, and encourage them to establish their own facility, he said.
Perez pointed out that Republic Act 9003 called for each LGU to provide for an ecological solid waste management program in their localities.
Perez said the city government do not intend to renew the contracts with the LGUs on the use of the facility which would be for the exclusive use of the city.
“The sanitary landfill was established for exclusive use of Urdaneta, but we accepted other towns who asked us to accomodate them. But now we have to stop and maybe by January next year, there will no no other LGUs that can use the facility,” Perez said.
The other reason why Urdaneta accepted the solid wastes from other LGUs was to enable the landfill to generate enough wastes for production of extraction of methane.
But several investors, including foreigners, have come to get data on the solid wastes, but none of them returned, he said.
Marjorie dela Cruz, in-charge of the landfill operations, said the city government has no available technology to extract methane.
She said the feasibility study for the landfill showed that it can accomodate only 40 tons of wastes daily, for it to last from 10-12 years.
Its not built to accomodate wastes from other towns, she said, adding that jeeps and tricycles full of wastes try to dump their wastes, not knowing that that they have to pay a certain amount.
She identified the Pangasinan LGUS with which Urdaneta City has memorandum of agreement for the use of facility as Alcala, Bautista Pozorrubio, Villasis, Binalonan, Mangatarem, Sual, Binmaley, Lingayen, Calasiao, Mapandan, Mangaldan, San Nicolas, San Manuel and Sta. Barbara. Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija likewise dump wastes at the facility.
For a while, Baguio City brought its garbage at the facility, but has since returned to the landfill in Capas, Tarlac.
The Urdaneta City engineered sanitary landfill was established under former Mayor Amadeo R. Perez Jr. (the present mayor’s father) to solve the the garbage problem in the city owing to its rapidly growing population and the mushrooming of businesses and schools.
Urdaneta is a major commerce and trade center in the North, hosting one of the biggest fruits and vegetable wholesale markets and one of the biggest livestock trading posts in the country. Likewise, it is fast emerging as an education center with the establishment of many tertiary educational institutions in the city.
Funded through a P200 million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines, the project included the construction of the sanitary landfill and support infrastructure, the acquisition of additional lots, and the concreting of access road to the site.
Project components consist of an impermeable HDPE liner over compacted clay, two layers of geosynthetic membrane, gravel filter layer, HDPE leachate collection and transfer piping system, pumping station, leachate treatment pond, weighbridge with support truck scale house, wheel wash facility, storm pond to control silt migration, groundwater monitoring wells, and an administrative building with appropriate parking area.