City zeroes in on 2 garbage solutions-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
MAYOR Mauricio Domogan said the city is nearing to a solution to its garbage problems with the recent presentation of two modern technologies.
The mayor had narrowed down numerous proposals to two considering the German waste to energy technology of Dominion Clean Energy and the Belgian waste to coal pellets technology of ENEXT Philippines Inc. for a 25-year Build-Operate-Transfer scheme, which are offered at no cost to the city.
Domogan said the P128-million Environmental Recycling System acquired by the city from Pro Tech Machineries Corporation last year may be kept to compliment the new technology or a buy-back scheme may be offered to Pro Tech in preference to the more viable technology.
General Services Officer Romeo Concio said both proponents have guaranteed to the Solid Waste Management Board last July 5 the payment of P30-million performance bond until full operation of the proposed technology.
He said their office is giving both companies until this week to finalize their proposals for final evaluation before the solid waste management board decides on which technology to choose.
“There’s no harm trying it, we have nothing to lose but everything to gain at their own expense,” he said.
Concio said both proponents even proposed to collect waste at no cost as they will take all kinds of wastes without the need for segregation.
However, since the city is compelled to comply with Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, he said residents will still be tasked to comply with segregation process.
The City Government, on the other hand, must provide both their chosen proponent with a one to two hectare property for the proposed facility.
He said the waste to energy technology by Dominion Clean Energy will require some 200 tons of sorted and unsorted wastes daily, tipping fee of P1,200 per ton while the city assist proponent in securing local permits and licenses.
Dominion Clean Energy claimed they will recoup project costs from revenues generated from produced electricity.
Earnings from generated energy will be endorsed back to the company to cover capital investment and maintenance and operation costs.
The proponent also added they will be able to finish the facility in 15 months but failed to detail the total cost of their project.
Concio said they are still verifying to the waste to energy proponent if the technology is not in violation of the Clean Air Act as it involves burning wastes.
Meanwhile, in the waste to coal pellet technology which will be provided by ENEXT Philippines Inc., Concio said there will be no burning or incineration as the processing of wastes will only be done inside the boiler of their machine.
The proponent detailed the project to cost some US$25 million, which will require 200 tons of sorted and unsorted wastes daily, no tipping fee for the first five years of operation, and tipping fee of P500 after the first five years to be refunded at the end of each year.
ENEXT Philippines Inc. also promised payment of P30 million performance bond until 90 days of operation and revenue sharing with the city for their coal pellets produced. The company also added they will be able to finish the construction of their facility in 18 months.
Concio said the waste to coal proponent added they have already contacted coal-fired power plants in the country such as the Sual plant in Pangasinan, which expressed willingness to sign a contract to source out coal from the city once its facility becomes operational.
He added the proponent claimed to have tested samples of their coal pellets in the Sual coal-fired power plant .Coal-fired power plants in the country, he said, still imports coal from Indonesia and sees it an opportunity to buy cheaper coal in the country if the project pushes through, he said.
“We are still studying which technology can obtain certifications from the Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Science and Technology,” he said.
Currently, the city produces some 180 tons of wastes daily but Concio said they will reach the required 200 tons of wastes once big industries such as Camp John Hay, Philippine Export Zone Authority, SM and Baguio Country Club, which previously do not add to the daily collection will use the facility.
He stressed the P30 million performance bond may be forfeited in favor of the city if the proponents fail to comply with the contract it will sign with the city.
Upon taking over solid waste management obligations from the City Environment and Parks Management Office, Concio said they have abandoned the idea of coming up with an Engineered Sanitary Landfill (ESL).
But he said the city should amend its 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan as it remains focused on landfills as solution to solid waste management.
He stressed an ESL would not be feasible and will be met with opposition as it often faces a huge stumbling block when it comes to community social acceptability.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 10, 2012.