TO SOLVE the rising problem of garbage in Cagayan de Oro City, the City Government will reportedly spend a whopping P300 million for the construction of a sophisticated sanitary landfill in Barangay Pagatpat.

Alex Jimenez, chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Northern Mindanao's Environmental Impact Assessment Monitoring Division, said the proposed landfill site is about 30 hectares.

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"It is where the existing landfill at Sitio Zayas in Barangay Carmen will be transferred," Jimenez said.

He added that the City Government in collaboration with the DENR has been drawing frameworks to realize what is said to be "an expensive project" under the administration of Mayor Vicente Y. Emano.

Jimenez said the budget for other social services of the City Government have to be sacrificed should the project be pursued.

The DENR is one of the members of an adhoc committee in the City Council created to look into the possibility of establishing not only an ordinary dumpsite but a sanitary landfill in particular, which is now under study.

Sanitary landfills are sites where waste is isolated from the environment until it is considered safe when it has completely degraded biologically, chemically and physically.

According to experts, there are four minimum basic conditions that should be met by any site design and operation before it can be regarded as a sanitary landfill. One is full or partial hydrogeological isolation; second is that the formal engineering preparations must be adapted on designs that should be developed from local geological and hydrogeological investigations; third, it should have trained staff to permanently control the operation, the depositing of waste and the regular operation and maintenance; and fourth, the waste should be spread in layers and compacted.

But Jimenez said before construction of the landfill would start, roads going to the area should first be established.

"Personally, I suggest putting up a garbage disposal site at the nearby urban areas to at least save out from less travels on garbage collections. ((Nicole J. Managbanag/Loui S. Maliza)