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PIA Press Release

Galwan urges cooperation of La Trindad residents on use of sanitary landfill

by SC Aro

La Trinidad, Benguet (1 May) -- The local government unit of this capital town called on residents and community for their cooperation in complying and observing proper solid waste management practices and in sustaining the utilization of the sanitary landfill which was launched last week.

This is in compliance with Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act mandating LGUs to establish their sanitary landfill. The town's solid waste management program took off in 2001 initially acquiring a lot for the site.

"The ball is in your hands," said Mayor Artemio Galwan during the launching activities as he threw the challenge of sustaining the use of the 9.8 hectare sanitary landfill located at Induyan, Alno in this capital town.

Galwan said the garbage collected from the point of origin could not be disposed as they are in the sanitary landfill without proper segregation. Barangays should have a materials recovery facility or similar facility to segregate the thrash before it goes to the sanitary landfill, he added.

There are two facilities operating under the disposal system, for composting and for residual waste, hence, segregation in necessary before disposal.

Galwan further said the barangay could make this as an economic enterprise and encouraged the organization of cooperatives for the purpose.

There is only 40 percent compliance of waste segregation. Massive information drive was conducted in 2006-2007 but there is still a need to educate the public to ensure community awareness and cooperation, according to Galwan.

He stressed on the compliance of segregation, observance of non-littering and the 4:00 o'clock habit of cleaning surroundings in line with the government's program on the drive against fatal diseases such as dengue and meningococcemia.

In generating cooperation among community, concerned agencies, and other stakeholders, a manifesto of commitment was signed during the launching ceremonies.

Chief of the Municipal Engineering Office Engr. Benedict Pineda, who presented the technical overview of the project, admitted the town's solid waste management project was an "engineering nightmare."

He said it took several years of trial and error scheme until the final plan has come to fruition. He acknowledged the technical assistance of the UNDP, DENR, NEDA, among other groups and study tour in areas with established solid waste management projects in Pampanga, Tarlac and Zamboanga.

To date, the sanitary landfill under category II was allotted P56.023 million since its inception in 2001.

Pineda said the area to contain the residual waste has to be divided into four phases due to limited funds. Phase I was allotted P11 million which started construction since 2002 for only 1.1 years utilization.

Pineda said budget needed for Phase II is P18 M, Phase III needs P15M and Phase IV - P34M with a total of 12 years utilization including Phase I. This, he said, is a challenge to the succeeding administration.

For the composting facility, there are three bio-reactors having a maximum capacity of six tons. Pineda acknowledged the assistance of DOST in realizing the project.

JICA extended financial assistance worth P5M part of which is allotted for three other bio-reactors or an additional six-ton capacity.

In blessing the facilities, Rev. Fr. Benny Castaņeda fashioned personalized prayers intended for the people directly involved in the waste facilities such as truck drivers and sanitary technicians or garbage collectors. (PIA-Benguet) [top]

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