Saturday, November 5, 2011
BAGUIO City’s waste solution provider is having a hard time looking for a transfer and sorting station for the city's non-biodegradable trash.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan told Sun.Star Baguio Friday that Rosario, La Union Mayor Bellarmin Flores III offered Pro Tech Machineries Corp. a four-hectare private lot to be used as a transfer and sorting station for the city’s residual waste.
But Neil Orras, who claimed to be the owner of the lot, aired his protest against Flores’s action, saying the lot is not for the mayor to offer since Orras allegedly inherited it from his parents.
Domogan admitted the city is pressed to look for a private lot to be used as a transfer and sorting station for its residual and recyclable wastes after the city delegated Pro Tech last month to collect non-biodegradable wastes.
This prompted the city's waste solution provider and supplier of Environmental Recycling System (ERS) to search for an area outside the city where they could sort out trash.
But as of now, there are still no takers except the offer from Mayor Flores.
Domogan said prior to Pro Tech's collection of garbage from the barangays, they have allowed waste segregators to collect at least 30 kilos of recyclables inside the Irisan facility.
But this only resulted in residuals being left out, scattered and stockpiled.
The stockpiling of residuals has also been the main contention of Tuba residents, claiming the city has been continuously dumping trash in Irisan despite its closure order a few years ago.
In response to numerous complaints on continued dumping, the mayor issued Administrative Order 125, allowing Pro Tech to collect the city's trash through a two-truck system.
But waste segregators remain a problem, as Mayor Domogan claimed enterprising individuals have been following Pro Tech in the barangays during collection schedules, taking away the recyclables and leaving most of the trash unsorted, resulting again in mixed wastes.
The waste solution company then decided to look for a transfer station as staging ground for the city's non-biodegradable wastes, Domogan added.
He also said that at first, Pangasinan municipalities, like San Manuel, offered to accept the city's trash. Rosales, Urdaneta and Sison in Pangasinan also made an offer since both are closer to Baguio compared to the Capas, Tarlac facility where the city currently hauls its trash.
All these proposals, however, did not materialize as problems on expensive tipping fees, lack of available space to accommodate residual wastes, opposition from community and municipal leaders and host community complaints met Pro Tech's plans to haul out trash there, said Domogan.
“Certainly, there were no takers for the city's residual trash until the offer from Rosario town Mayor Flores came,” the mayor said.
But with Orras, who claims ownership of the private lot, another round of opposition will be faced by Pro Tech and Mayor Flores.
Mayor Domogan reiterated that the private lot will only be used by Pro Tech as a transfer and sorting station for non-biodegradable trash and not for malodorous biodegradable wastes.
“The biodegradable wastes will still be fed into the ERS machines in Irisan,” he said.
The owner said they are not even amenable to the area being proposed as a transfer and sorting area for Baguio's wastes.
With this ongoing problem of continuous opposition of host communities to accept the city's wastes, Pro Tech is now left at a quandary where to temporarily store the city's recyclable and residual wastes before it is finally hauled to their facility in Malasiqui, Pangasinan, which the mayor claims is the final destination of the city's wastes.
This transpired after Pro Tech's transfer facility in Carmen West, Rosales, Pangasinan, reportedly has also been opposed by neighboring establishments and residents, prompting the Municipal Government to disallow processing of residuals there.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 05, 2011.