Baguio seeks geo test on land eyed for waste management system

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Monday, December 16, 2013


THE Baguio City Government requested the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera (MGB-DENR-CAR) to conduct a geological assessment of the site being eyed for the proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWMS) of the city.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the 22-hectare lot is located in one of the city’s neighboring towns in Benguet. He did not name the specific location pending results of negotiations.

City General Services officer Romeo Concio on December 11 wrote MGB-CAR officer-in-charge regional director Faye Apil requesting MGB technical personnel to undertake geological study on the lot to ensure its safety.

He said the city needs the assessment before it finally comes up with a plan to consider the place for the city’s ISWMS.

Domogan said several assessments and studies have to be undertaken to qualify the site for the city’s ISWMS including tests by the DENR and the National Solid Waste Management Council (NSWMC) to determine its suitability for the purpose.

The lot was the latest in a list of sites the city identified over the years in its quest for a suitable location to build its own engineered sanitary landfill (ESL).

The mayor said the city hopes to develop the site as its ISWMS station to house its two Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines which process the city’s biodegradable wastes and its ESL to take charge of the nonbiodegradable refuse.

This is while the city hatches its plans to set up a waste-to-energy facility under a private-public partnership scheme eyed as a long-term solution to the city’s waste problem.

The three projects comprise the city’s ISWMS which it is pursuing to address is waste concerns.

The waste-to-energy technology is still being assessed by the NSWMC prior to the issuance of a permit to initiate the project. The National Economic Development Authority required documents from the tech proponent to process its application.

The final proposal will be forwarded to the DENR for the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and other environmental requirements and to the Department of Energy for the energy production and sale permits.

The waste-to-energy proposal, submitted by a private company based in Singapore, involves the processing of wastes for conversion into energy through a process called pyrolysis and will not involve incineration.

As proposed, the project will be at no cost to the city. The investor will take charge of locating its own lot, constructing its building and other infrastructure and machineries. It will oversee the entire operations and will also take over the collection of the wastes from the barangays.

The investor will recoup the investment cost through the sale of electricity it will generate which is pegged at 10-12 megawatts of power daily. After ten years, the city stands to receive a share from the earnings. The deal will be for 25 years. (Aileen Refuerzo)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 17, 2013.

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