Landfill in every town unrealistic, Kimi says

August 13, 2009 at 2:01 am Leave a comment

kimiDAGUPAN CITY – Sison Mayor Kimi Cojuangco called as “unrealistic” the law calling for all towns to establish a sanitary land fill, saying there was no way that small towns with limited income can afford to set up their own.

If the local government units will be compelled to follow the law, “we’re going to have a lot of mayors in jail,” Cojuango said in a press forum here.

Republic Act 9003 or Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 calls for the establishment of sanitary land fills in every town five years after promulgation of the law. But nine years later, not one town in Pangasinan has put up such facility.

The law provided for a P500,000 and from five to ten percent of the town’s income the previous year, as penalties for first time violators. Subsequent violations will mean imprisonment of one to three years for the local government heads.

But Cojuango said while every town wants a landfill to have a clean environment, not all LGUs, like Sison in eastern Pangasinan which is a third class town, can afford it.

“Even a city like Urdaneta needs to secure a loan so it can establish a landfill,” she said.

During the same forum, Mayor Amadeo Perez of Urdaneta City said the city government applied for a loan of P220,000 from the Land Bank of the Philippines for the construction of a land fill.

Perez said the city was willing to accommodate the solid wastes of other towns, provided these are segregated into biodegradable and non-biogegradable, and these are contained securely in plastic bags or sacks.

Cojuango disclosed that her town has a controlled dumpsite where biodegrable wastes from the different villages are composed into organic fertilizers. The wastes are covered with soil so there are no flies around, she said.

She added that each village has a center where villagers dump recyclable materials.

Instead of forcing the LGUS to comply with RA 9003, Cojuangco said it should be the Department of Environment and Natural Resources which should come up with solutions to the solid waste management problem.

“The DENR should help us,” she said, as she suggested that some small towns are clustered and have a common landfill.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Wendy Co said the dilemna of Sison town was “understandable” because landfill is expensive, requiring big lot and big budget to operationalize.

She said the town if unable to construct a landfill, it should conform with the provisions of the law such as segregation of wastes at source and has a materials recovery facility and has a composting facility. “

“Clustering of towns for a landfill is okay and some towns have identified sites for a common landfill, but the ‘not-in-my-backyard mentality prevails,” Co said.

For those unable to construct a landfill yet, the DENR is proposing an eco-park instead, she said. An eco-park has an area for recycling, for composting, and a park.

Entry filed under: News.

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