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Ormoc inaugurates sanitary landfill

… while scavengers at old dumpsite ask, “Where do we go from here?”

ORMOC CITY – The 32-hectare Ormoc City Eco-Waste Center (CEC) in Green Valley, Mas-in this city,  was inaugurated on December 12, Thursday. 

The CEC is the local government’s response to address solid waste management properly.

The CEC, which has a material recovery facility (MRF) and a state-of-the-art sanitary landfill, was graced by city government officials led by Mayor Eric C. Codilla and representatives of the GIZ headed by Deputy Country Director Wolfgang Mollers.

The said facility is the first and only one of its kind in the region. It is one of 15 sanitary landfills in the country GIZ have extended technical assistance.

“This is another milestone for the city. As early as January 2005, we have already centralized composting facility at Barangay Green Valley.  And with the guidance and push from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) we forged a good partnership with the GIZ, and we are very grateful for this partnership, “said Mayor Codilla during the launching and press conference at the city hall after the blessing at the site.

He added that initially, 1.8 hectare of the sanitary landfill will be used. It has a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic liner for its landfill base to ensure that no leachate contaminates the groundwater beneath. He said Ormoc is one of the first few to apply this technology in the country.

“We have complied with all the necessary environmental requisites that we were issued the compliance certificate by the Department Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last November”, said Codilla.

For GIZ, Mollers said that they have been giving technical support to Ormoc city since 2006 before project was started, with the collaboration of the Environmental Management Bureau.

“We even sent city personnel to train at Pohlshe Heide Waste Management Facility in Minden, Germany,“ he added.

The sanitary landfill, it was learned, chalked up P 55.5-million to construct. It is expected to have a lifespan of 6-10 years, depending on the proper management of the facility of the city’s residual wastes.

It was hinted that there is also a possibility for neighboring municipalities to avail of the city’s eco-waste center. The CEC hopes to give more job opportunities for recyclers, composters and machine operators.

“I would like to congratulate Ormoc City and its leaders for its political will to put up the sanitary landfill. This is in answer to the provisions of the RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.  The success of this facility really falls on the barangay and the residents because the proper segregation starts from the households,” said Executive Director Emelita Aguinaldo of the National Solid Waste Management Bureau.

Aside from the seven representatives from GIZ who flew all the way from Germany to be present, Department of Environment Regional Executive Manolito Ragub, the city councilors, representatives from EMB were among others who graced the event.

Engineer Myraflor Fumar, solid waste management technical staff of the Ormoc City General Services Office, said the CEC is designed to provide an environmentally sound means of waste disposal and is equipped with appropriate technologies to recover as much biodegradable and recyclable materials as possible before finally dumping it into the land fill.

The open dumpsite in Barangay Macabug will soon cease its operations after it will be rehabilitated, estimated to cost another P 12.9-million from the city government.

In its briefer, it was mentioned that several trainings on solid waste management and segregation at source preparations have been done since August 2006.

This includes recycling training for women’s groups and full-cost accounting.

Furthermore, the City Government of Ormoc claims that with the assistance from GIZ, it will be the country’s first LGU to test the application of climate-friendly “final cover” to rehabilitate the former dumpsite at Macabug.

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