The Davao City P268 million Sanitary Landfill

A legacy to healthy living

By ROGER M. BALANZA

“Our focus on the environment and natural resources will be principally directed on ecological solid waste management, watershed rehabilitation and coastal resource management. We will continue to pursue the path to sustainable development of our city.”

In December last year, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gave the Dabawenyos the biggest gift of all: the P268-million ultra-modern Sanitary Landfill in Barangay New Carmen, Tugbok district.

Built on a 3.8-hectare property, the landfill, in compliance with Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, have a capacity of 1.2 metric tons of residual garbage and a life span of eight to ten years.

With the project, Davao City is among few local government units which complied with RA 9003, which poised administrative charges against local officials failing to establish sanitary landfills five years after the approval of RA 9003.

RA 9003 is also known as “An Act Providing for an Ecological Solid Waste Management Program, Creating the Necessary Institutional Mechanisms and Incentives, Declaring Certain Acts Prohibited and Providing Penalties, Appropriating Funds therefore, and for other purposes,” mandates for all LGUs to be at the frontline in the implementation of the mandatory segregation of biodegradable, non-biodegradable and special wastes, recycling and composting and the establishment of a materials recovery facility (MRF).”

The ultimate aim of RA 9003 is to reduce garbage volume starting at home, with the community joining hands in segregation and recycling.

Davao City has long practiced throwing the nearly half a million tons of annual garbage volume churned out by its 1.4 million inhabitants into open dumpsites which is now outlawed by RA 9003.

In compliance with RA 9003, the landfill operates through the principle of waste segregation starting from the homes to the site to reduce waste to a few tons of residual waste.

At the landfill, engineering designs prevent lecheate from seeping into water tables, thus protect the city’s water resources.

Recycling transforms residual waste into bricks and tiles. Chemicals convert soft garbage through the process of decomposition using biologically-friendly processes to produce solid, liquid, and gaseous products.

The operation of the Sanitary Landfill as provided in the city’s Ecological Solid Waste Management Program has four components: public awareness campaign; waste segregation into biodegradable, recyclable, and residual components; recycling and composting of recyclable and biodegradable components; and landfilling of residual solid waste.

While the last is in full operation, sanitary personnel have yet to set into place the three others, particularly on the manner of segregation at the homes.

Nevertheless, the education, information campaign tapping barangays which are given responsibility to be active players in the solid waste management program are on stream. Some barangays have institutionalized the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), also mandated by RA 9003, which is the second step to recycling at home to reduce residual waste destined for the Sanitary Landfill.

The 3.8-hectare facility meets the standards of the National Solid Management Waste Commission Technical Guidelines for Sanitary Landfill Design and Operation.

It was designed by IPM Construction and Development Corporation and conforms to international standards on sanitary landfills, with lycheate retention pond, monitoring wells, drainage system, and gas vents. Mayor Duterte admitted garbage disposal is a major problem and the Sanitary Landfill is in reponse to this concern.

Mayor Duterte said a major focus of his administration is the preservation of the environment and public health through ecological solid waste management, watershed rehabilitation and coastal resource management.

The buck however does not stop at the Sanitary Landfill, whose three support components are still to be perfected.

“We will continue to pursue the path to sustainable development of our city,” Duterte said.

 

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