THE Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has slapped the sanitary landfill in Aloguinsan, Cebu with a P700,000 fine for violating environmental laws.
San Rafael Landfill Corp. (SRLC), owned by Rafael Moreno, son of former Aloguinsan mayor Augustus Ceasar Moreno, lacked a waste water treatment facility and does not have proper management of its operation.
With the landfills in Aloguinsan and Consolacion towns closed, EMB 7 Director William Cuñado said the landfill in Binaliw, Cebu City is the only landfill in the province that is operational and can accept garbage from local government units (LGUs) and private haulers.
Cuñado said that if SRLC fails to pay the penalty within 30 days, the EMB 7 will cancel its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).
Cuñado said they learned that SRLC continued to operate despite the cease-and-desist order they issued last year which prompted them to endorse the case to its central office in Manila.
Cuñado said earlier that the company lacked a permit to operate and a discharge permit because of the lack of a waste water facility.
With Aloguinsan now closed and the Consolacion landfill still closed, only the Binaliw landfill, operated by ARN Central Waste Management, is open as dumping site for other LGUs to use.
Cuñado said there are actually two functional sanitary landfills in Cebu, the one in Binaliw and another in Lagtang, Talisay City.
However, the sanitary landfill in Lagtang is only for the use of Talisay’s garbage, he said.
The Binaliw landfill is the only landfill that has complete documents and Cuñado said all LGUs can dump their solid waste there.
But the Cebu City Government earlier issued a statement disallowing other LGUs to use the Binaliw landfill.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he will not allow the City to be a dumping site for other LGU’s garbage.
The next option then will be the Consolacion landfill.
However, the Consolacion landfill remains closed as of now.
According to Cuñado, the Consolacion landfill, which is operated by Asian Energy Systems Corp., will only be opened if it is able to put a plant that will recover methane gas from the dumpsite.
He said Asian Energy already entered into an agreement with a private contractor to recover the methane gas and use this to run a generator to produce power.
To recall, the Consolacion landfill was closed last May after the EMB 7 found it violated environmental laws for failing to implement its Environment Management Plan that resulted in the landslide on May 4, this year.
Cuñado said their theory was that the methane gas exploded in the landfill which caused the piles of garbage to collapse, leading to the landslide that killed a dumptruck driver.
Cuñado said Asian Energy Systems Corp. is given two to three months to resume its operations.
“First, we can reduce methane gas emission to the atmosphere that cause pollution. Secondly, the company can contribute power supply and lessen its power consumption from the Visayan Electric Company (Veco). They can then enter into a supply contract with Veco,” Cuñado said.
Meanwhile, the Cebu City Government already started the procurement process for the service of a new private hauler on Thursday, July 18.
Jomara Konstruct, the private hauler of Cebu City, will end its contract on Saturday, July 20.
Labella assured the public that there will be no garbage crisis that will happen in the city as several companies have shown interest to help the City in the disposal of garbage.
“There is really no problem with our garbage collection. In fact, we have friends who committed to help the City Government,” Labella said.
He said Cebu Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Ayala Land, was one of those who committed to help the city.
Meanwhile, EMB will soon approve the application of the Minglanilla Municipal Government for a sanitary landfill with a combination of a medical waste and waste-to-energy facility.
Hopefully, if Minglanilla can complete the requirements, Cebu will have four sanitary landfills to address the solid waste disposal in Metro Cebu, Cuñado said. (EOB, JJL)