Waste to energy project to be transferred to Sablan

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Garbage collection and disposal in the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area will be addressed once the proposed waste-to-energy project which is being eyed to be put up in Sablan town will be realized.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong reported the city government opted to give up the posting of the proposed waste-to-energy plant after the city-owned properties identified as sites for the facility encountered some issues that will take some time to be resolved.

He disclosed there is already a private property in Sablan initially identified by the proponents to serve as host of the facility but the same will still be subject to the conduct of a feasibility study to ascertain its viability in the said locality.

Earlier, BLISTT local chief executives entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) authorizing the conduct of a feasibility of the proposed put up of a waste-to-energy plant in Sablan which will be undertaken within a 90-day period.

He claimed the transfer of the site of the proposed facility to Sablan is part of the initiative of the city government to decongest the city from possible overdevelopment and to help the neighboring towns of Benguet to catch up in terms of development.

The city previously identified a portion of the 10-hectare land ceded to the city government by the agriculture department at the Baguio Dairy Farm and another public land in Pinsao Proper barangay as proposed sites of the waste-to-energy facility but the same had similar issues that might take some time to be resolved.

According to him, it is also important for the city to share the development opportunities with the neighboring municipalities in Benguet so that opportunities for other areas to develop, generate jobs for the people, and spread the economic activities to provide sustainable sources of livelihood of the people.

The city chief executive claimed that the local government will await the outcome of the 90-day feasibility study before the BLISTT Governing Council will decide on future steps to undertake for the immediate realization of the project that is aimed at putting an end to the prevailing garbage collection and disposal issues in Baguio City, La Trinidad and other fast growing municipalities within the growth corridor.

Several foreign and local proponents for the put up of the waste facility using various technologies had been presenting their proof of concepts since last year but the city government had been encountering problems and issues on the properties identified as feasible sites for the facility.

At present, the city partnered with a private hauler for the hauling of its residual waste from the existing temporary waste transfer station at the Baguio Dairy Farm to the engineered sanitary landfill in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan where the same had been going on for over a decade now.

The city is reportedly hauling out some 140 to 170 tons of residual waste to the Urdaneta City sanitary landfill daily while the biodegradable waste generated from the barangays are collected by volunteer waste pickers from the temporary waste transfer station. By Dexter A. See