Benguet Corp. submitted a proposal to Baguio City and Itogon town the final rehabilitation plan for one of the Antamok open pits involving an engineered sanitary landfill and a renewable waste-to-energy project.
The mining company said the pit would have a capacity of 535,400 cubic meters and could easily handle the disposal of the expected daily volume of 150 to 200 metric tons not only from Itogon and Baguio, but also from the surrounding areas of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay.
Benguet Corp. executive director Isidro Alcantara said the necessary project feasibility studies would be done in consultation with the LGU officials to ensure all their concerns were addressed.
Initial findings showed the ESL could provide a solution to the garbage disposal problem in Baguio and surrounding areas as it would provide and recycle bio-degradable raw material input to the WTE that was estimated to generate 25 megawatts.
“The ESL will avoid any potential health related issues that may arise from the ill effects of insufficient handling of garbage in a major city,” Benguet Corp. said.
Baguio currently sends its garbage to Capas, Tarlac which is155 kilometers away from the city. The city government also spends P80 million annually or the disposal of its garbage.
“The proposed Antamok site is only about 18.5 kilometers from Baguio and Itogon of which 12.5 kilometers is on a concrete all purpose road while only 2.5 kilometers only needs to be widened and improved to access the ESL site,” Benguet Corp. said.
Expected savings for Baguio alone will amount to P45 million annually.
“An encouraging factor is that the project can then be launched very quickly without any cost spent for land acquisition, road building and with minimal site development,” the mining company said.
Benguet will assign in perpetuity the 42-hectare open pit site.
A joint venture with an industrial partner and developer will be formed which will construct and develop the ESL at no cost to Baguio and Itogon.
Another project proponent using latest renewable energy technology is being invited to put up the waste-to-energy project. Baguio and Itogon are expected to receive benefits from the WTE company.
Benguet Corp. said a technological working group and assessment team was created to assess and choose the technology, craft, the corporate structure and address the public interest requirements of the project.
The final proposal will be presented for approval of the mayors and their respective city councils prior to implementation.