BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) granted the request of the local government to reopen the Irisan dumpsite, specifically the operation of the two Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines, to prevent the possible occurrence of a garbage crisis in the city following the piling up of the uncollected non-biodegradable waste in the different parts of the city.
DENR-CAR regional director Ralph Pablo informed Mayor Magalong that the agency decided to reopen the closed dump facility provided that the local government must ensure that the debris and mixed waste in the area will be collected by the end of the month aside from the fact that the installed machines for the conversion of the biodegradable waste will be operational by July 31, 2019.
However, during a meeting in the dump facility, Magalong directed the partner of the local government, Rapport Innovations, to ensure the completion of the ongoing upgrading of the machinery in the area so that the same will be operational by July 20, 2019.
Earlier, Undersecretary Benny Anteporda issued a temporary cease and desist order last Thursday that prevented the local government for continuously operating the 2 ERS machines because of alleged violations of the pertinent provisions of environmental laws and gave the City General Services Office 24 hours to justify the non-continuation of the stoppage order.
Among the other conditions in the lifting of the cease and desist order will be the collection of biodegradable waste and the conversion of the area into an eco-friendly park by December 31, 2019.
Magalong explained that the timetable of the local government in the use of the facility is to ensure that the over 40,000 cubic meters of raw compost stocked in the area will be converted into compost fertilizer by the third quarter of next year so that works on the land development will start by the fourth quarter of next year in preparation for its total rehabilitation and conversion into an eco-park by the first quarter of 2021.
He claimed that the 11 small-scale recycling volunteers in the area will also be transferred near the city’s temporary waste transfer station at the Baguio Dairy Farm area where the same will be improved and developed for them to continue their business of gathering recyclable waste and earning livelihood from the same.
According to him, the relocation of the volunteers near the Baguio Dairy farm waste transfer station will be done within a 3-month period so that the area where recyclable items are stockpiled will be cleared pursuant to the directive of the environment department.
Aside from ensuring the sustained development in the area where the operation of the ERS machines are situated, Magalong directed the operator to produce its own bio-enzyme to lessen the huge expenses of the city government for such purpose and ensure there will be transfer of technology for city government personnel to be trained to operate the ERS machines.
Upon receipt of the cease and desist order, former mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wrote the DENR on June 28, 2019 to reconsider their position on the mater considering its serious negative impact to the garbage disposal of the city.
By Dexter A. See