LITTERBUGS thrive in this highland town.

Itogon folk have been caught red-handed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources Basura Patrollers violating laws on garbage disposal.

“I received a warning from DENR-Environment and Management Board OIC regional director Reynaldo Digamo regarding waste dumped in the highways,” Mayor Victorio Palangdan said adding he called the attention of barangay officials in Ucab for a clean-up of waste irresponsibly dumped.

Palangdan admitted constituents in Tuding and Ucab are not following directives on waste segregation. “They do not segregate their garbage properly and they do not bring out their trash in the pick-up areas during their scheduled time,” Palangdan said.

The chief executive said an ordinance on waste segregation is in place but people simply refuse to follow.

Itogon has a temporary residual containment area between Barangays Virac and Gumatdang but is almost full.

“Other possible areas for a garbage landfill are in Ampucao or Tapac. If it becomes ESL, it can carry all the garbage all the La Trinidad – Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) areas, but, it was declared by DENR as protected area under the NIPAS Act, so we can’t convert it as and engineered sanitary landfill. So where will we throw our garbage then?” he said.

A proposal on the eyed Antamok engineered sanitary landfill would resolve their newly faced challenge in garbage problem, however a majority has shown an early disagreement for the project.

Benguet Corporation is leading talks with Goldrich Natural Resources Exploration and Development Inc. with Itogon town is eyed to develop its Antamok properties into an with waste-to-energy compost aimed for sustainable environmental preservation and protection.

When the project commences, Itogon and Baguio will deliver and dispose exclusively in the Antamok project all of the municipal solid waste generated and collected by the communities once the engineered sanitary landfill is ready for operation.