THE stench of uncollected garbage greeted newly-installed Mayor Benjamin Magalong on his first day on the job as chief executive of Baguio City.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny Antiporda ordered to stop the processing of biodegradable waste at the Irisan dumpsite effective Monday, July 1.

“Our Environmental Recycling System (ERS) has not been working for so many years and unfortunately, this has not been properly addressed,” Magalong said as he appealed to residents to hold onto their biodegradable waste until the city finds a suitable place to dump the trash or until the machines at the Irisan dump is repaired.

At the hilltop area on Monday morning, piles of biodegradable waste lay uncollected by the city, leaving vendors in a quandary on how to dispose of their daily biodegradable waste.

Magalong said at the Irisan dump, there is a backlog of 30,000 metric tons of unprocessed waste to be converted to compost which he assured does not pose a danger as it is secured within the walls of the dump.

The mayor said he is giving the contractor and the General Services Office (GSO) until the end of the month to fix the machines and 12 months to turn the dump into an eco-park and empty the facility of unprocessed waste.

Last week, a team from DENR inspected the Irisan dump upon the request of Magalong and revealed the sorry state of the city-owned ERS machines at the decommissioned dumpsite which only operates for the processing of biodegradable waste envisioned to be processed into compost.

Magalong said the ERS machines have been defective since 2014 as reported to him by engineers in charge at the Irisan site but has surprisingly not been repaired nor reported, while spraying of inoculant for the waste pile has also halted.

The chief executive said market waste which reaches 50 tons a day will be a priority as he has assigned the GSO to find a place to stock the pile of vegetable peelings, meat and fish waste daily.

Magalong said the machine’s cooling component has been defective impairing the production of compost and instead emit sludge which in turn, reeks of the spoiled stench of trash.

Report Innovations has been in charge of the management and operation of the two multi-million ERS machines for the conversion of the existing raw compost to organic fertilizer and the continuous production of organic fertilizer from the city’s biodegradable waste.

The agreement entered by the local government and Report Innovations will expire in five years and is tasked to ensure the continuous operation of the ERS machines to be able to produce organic fertilizer from the huge volume of biodegradable waste generated by the city.

Magalong said he will also contact the DENR to persuade a lifting of the ban to use the Irisan dump for the processing of biodegradable waste.