33-has. sanitary landfill in Bayambang coming up
Bayambang (18 October) -- Except for a few more hitches, the establishment of a proposed 33-hectare sanitary landfill here, costing P250 million, is now almost certain.
This was disclosed by Bayambang Mayor Leocadio de Vera who received a report that no less than the Department of Environment and Natural Resources endorsed the project and envisions it as its pilot project for the whole Region 1.
De Vera said the country’s only second sanitary landfill after one earlier built in Puerto Princesa, Palawan would be undertaken by the Waste Integrated Network Systems (WINS) based in Tarlac which owns at least 98 hectares in barangay Dusoc, the project site.
Bayambang even beat Dagupan City in having a sanitary landfill although the latter already started the initiative in 2003 by buying a 30-hectare land in barangay Awai, San Jacinto for P16 million, which project has been moribund the past several years.
WINS, a company identified with industrialist Eduardo Cojuangco, proposed the project, using its own resources and technology. Not a single centavo will be spent by the municipal government, De Vera said.
WINS property in Bayambang is a large rolling area located near the town’s border with Camiling, Tarlac in the south and Mangatarem, Pangasinan in the west.
De Vera clarified that a somewhat similar project in San Fernando City, La Union, which is now under construction, is not a sanitary landfill but only an engineered landfill.
The one planned to be built by WINS in Bayambang at a staggering sum of P250 million he explained, exactly similar to the one in Puerto Princesa, built through the initiative of Mayor Edward Hagedorn. Believing the project to be very scientific and very hygienic, De Vera said this is even more modern than the one put up by Mirant Corporation at its Sual Coal Coal-Fired Power Plant to take care of the company’s own solid wastes.
An engineered landfill is entirely different from sanitary landfill although the former also uses a layer of clay that is put into a shell, where a canal would be built in order to drain the leachate, said de Vera. On the other hand, a sanitary landfill will have clay as an inner layer, boosted by the laying of ground stones as filters, including a plastic lining as outer layer. In this system, the leachate will flow into a tank where it will be converted into methane gas for domestic use, such as in cooking, heating and lighting.
De Vera said Bayambang needs a sanitary landfill because its existing open dumpsite, also located in barangay Dusoc, is now already about to be closed.
WINS will not only accommodate the 3.5 tons of garbage being churned out in Bayambang daily but also from adjacent towns, including the neighboring provinces of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.
The Project was already incorporated in a resolution approved in September by the municipal council which was submitted to the provincial board for review.
As soon as it is reported out by the provincial board, De Vera is set to sign a memorandum of agreement with WINS so that the project could be started right away.
In pushing the project, De Vera admitted that many were saying he was risking his political career. He said he did not mind because he believes he can help his constituents more if the project is realized.
‘I believed that if we don’t have the political will, nothing will happen in our beloved town of Bayambang.” De Vera said.
Asked if WINS already submitted its feasibility and technical studies regarding the proposed project, the mayor said these are now in fact being thoroughly scrutinized to make sure that it will really succeed.
The deadline for open dumpsites in the country has already expired in February this year but this was extended to January next year as most if not all of the LGUs in entire country still have no capability to establish sanitary landfill yet which is the real requirement of the law.
De Vera said if the open dumpsite is still on at that time, the city or municipal executive will be slapped with P50,000 fine, aside from facing a separate administrative case.
The municipal coffer will benefit from the project because upon establishment of the sanitary landfill, the proponent will pay for all the garbage that will enter the project site for disposal.
Jonathan Corpuz, Municipal Planning and Development Officer of Bayambang, said with the provincial board about to give its imprimatur to the Bayambang resolution, the only ones being awaited now are the representatives of WINS. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]