Sto. Tomas offered anew as sanitary landfill site

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE Sto. Tomas landfill site is now back in the scopes after the proposed engineered sanitary landfill (ESL) in Ampucao, Itogon was declared a watershed and protected area.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said he will offer the Sto. Tomas-Apugan site for reevaluation as an ESL.

The mayor hopes the site will no longer be inside a watershed and that it can be used by the city as a back-up dumping site for solid wastes not processed by the Environmental Recycling System machines and site for the proposed waste to energy facility.


It can be recalled that the City Government didn’t push through with the development of Sto. Tomas-Apugan area as an ESL site as the mayor claimed the development would be expensive.

Earlier, Director Mundita Lim of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau told regional executive director Clarence Baguilat that the development of a sanitary landfill in Ampucao, Itogon was not allowed as the area is part of the Lower Agno River watershed.

Other problems to be faced when developing an ESL site include huge site development cost, lack of social acceptability from host communities, among others.

In 2009, the Sto. Tomas-Apugan property was chosen as the best site for an ESL but was no longer pursued when the Ampucao project was offered to the City Government for use of Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay local governments.

The city is bent on finding a final solution to its mounting solid waste problems by recently engaging in Build-Operate-Transfer schemes with a waste-to-energy company but the mayor stressed this needs the approval of the National Economic Development Authority.

The mayor clarified other technologies which may be used to solve the city’s garbage problems will still have to gain go signal from concerned national line agencies.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 11, 2012.

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