Alternative sites for waste to energy project studied

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BAGUIO CITY – The city government is currently looking for alternative sites within the city where the proposed waste to energy plant can be established following the emergence of a number of issues and concerns on its earlier proposed site within the area ceded by the agriculture department to the city in the Baguio Dairy Farm area.

City General Services Officer Eugene Buyucan disclosed this task is being done in close coordination with the City Assessor’s Office and the City Planning and Development Office considering the familiarity of the said offices on the status of properties in the different parts of the city.

He admitted he was instructed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong to look for alternative sites where the waste to energy plant will be established as there are other equally important uses of the land ceded by the agriculture department to the city.

Earlier, a number of city officials visited Toyo, Japan to see for themselves the operational waste-to-energy plant there which will be the model to be adopted in the proposed facility to help address the city’s garbage disposal problem.

Among the proposed uses of the Baguio Dairy Farm area ceded to the city include the south-bound bus terminal, the temporary waste transfer station and socialized housing.

According to him, the concerned offices are now working double time to identify the area for this waste-to-energy plant for the same to be established soonest and significantly reduce the city government’s  expenses in the hauling of waste outside the city.

One of the properties being eyed as an alternative site is the city government’s 85,000-square meter property in Pinsao Proper which is also being studied as the potential relocation site for the city’s abattoir but there the documents for this lot still needs to be processed as it has already been reserved for city land needs.

The put up of a waste to energy plant is one of the proposed solutions for the city government for its waste disposal and convert the same to renewable energy that could be used to help lower the cost of power in the city.

Under the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, local governments are mandated to close the operation of their open dumpsites and replace the same with controlled dump facilities or engineered sanitary landfills for the sustainable preservation of the state of the environment and the protection of the health of the people within their areas of jurisdiction.

However, many local governments had not been able to comply with the said requirement of the law because of limited land area coupled with the difficulty of securing the social acceptability for such environmentally critical projects.

By Dexter A. See