The first 120 days of the government’s drive to close all illegal and open dumpsites in the country proved to be a success in Central Luzon as most if not all of the affected cities and municipalities in the region have managed avoid any garbage crisis.
“If there’s a will, there’s a way” Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR regional executive director Paquito Moreno Jr., said this as he confirmed that there was not a single incident of garbage crisis that occurred following the DENR’s sustained operations against open dumpsites in the region.
“It’s like business as usual”, said Moreno as he attributed the success of their operations likewise to the cooperation of local government leaders in Central Luzon.
“LGUs in Central Luzon played a significant role in the closure of open dumpsites in the region have been cooperative and supportive with the DENR campaign including implementation of Solid Waste Management Law” Moreno stressed
With the closure of all open dumpsites, LGUs have the option to bring their solid waste to existing sanitary landfills (SLF) or to a residual containment area.
For Central Luzon, the DENR continues to rely on the services of legitimate, private sector led sanitary landfills in the region.
“The presence of an engineered sanitary landfill in Tarlac contributed to the success of DENR Sec. Frank Cimatu’s campaign as it ably provided the necessary facilities to accommodate a large number of wastes all over the region, said Moreno.
Moreno was apparently referring to Metro Clark Waste Management facilities in Capas, Tarlac that currently caters to cities and municipalities of Region 3 including Pangasinan province.
Metro Clark boasts of its facility as the lone engineered sanitary landfill that strictly adheres to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. Its current operational capacity could accommodate more than 3,000 tons of garbage daily.
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda earlier announced all the dumpsites that have been closed down will have to undergo the Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan of Dumpsites, courtesy of EMB.
“Local government units may seek technical assistance of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) on how to conduct the Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan for the respective dumpsites in their areas of jurisdiction,” Antiporda explained.
A residual containment area is a temporary storage of their residual wastes while negotiating a Memorandum of Agreement with another LGU operating an SLF, finalizing a contract with a privately operated SLF, or awaiting operationalization of their own SLF.
A total of 335 open dumpsites all over the country have been closed by the DENR.
Open dumpsites are those where solid waste is deposited without planning and consideration for environmental and health standards and are illegal to establish or operate, based on RA 900.