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MANKAYAN, Benguet – Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, one of the oldest mining companies in the country, has pioneered the operation of an engineered sanitary landfill (ESL) in the Philippine mining industry.
The ESL, constructed on a 2,800 sq. meter lot near Lepanto’s mill site is designed to contain residual wastes from households within the mining community and nearby barangays in Mankayan, Benguet.
Lepanto started utilizing the ESL in January, according to Mine Environment Protection and Enhancement Department Manager Rolando Reyes.
Segregated residual wastes from households in the mine camp and Barangays Sapid and Paco amount to about three cubic meters daily which are now collected and brought to the ESL.
Reyes said that the ESL construction cost Lepanto over P4 million with the main ESL component fast-tracked and completed in less than two months utilizing 30 locally hired workers while the other components, i.e., the material recovery facility and the project site office, will be completed by June 2017.
The two-meter wide concrete base of the ESL can withstand strong typhoons with its slope planted with tiger grass and sunflowers and further stabilized by coco-fiber.
The ESL site is covered with a high-density polyethylene liner, ensuring that liquid waste is filtered towards the leachate tank where it is bio- remediated or detoxified using naturally-occurring organisms prior to discharge.
Baguio journalists who toured the ESL site noted that it was odor-free.
Reyes said the ESL has a life of four years but this may be expanded to serve the community for another two years.
He added that this early, Lepanto is already negotiating with community residents for a potential new site for the next ESL.
Reyes said that as early as 2000, Lepanto established a controlled dumpsite facility in compliance with Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and “we likewise strictly implement our own version of ‘no segregation, no collection’ policy in a bid to lessen the volume of wastes generated at source.”
Earlier, Lepanto reported that TUV Rheinland, Philippines, Inc. has affirmed the company’s zero non-conformance during the ISO audit conducted last March.
“We are pleased to advise that, following TUV Rheinland Philippines’ audit of the Environmental Management System of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company on 22-24 March 2017, it has been recommended that the ISO 14001 certification of Lepanto dated 12 May 2016 be maintained,” LCMCO stated in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
TUV credited the company’s efforts in waste management with the installation and maintenance of its ESL inside the mine site. The audit report also commended the company’s continuous effort in electricity and water management.