LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Julius Kollin, Supervising Environment Specialist of the Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO), said not all towns in the province need an engineered sanitary andfill.

Kollin said the ESL may only be applicable to towns like La Trinidad, Buguias and Mankayan, which have a higher volume of waste as compared to the smaller towns in the province.

Kollin is still advocating a waste management system, which starts at segregation in the home, adding this is the best people can do to help the garbage problem.

"They have to manage their garbage from the households," he said.

Kollin said the Mankayan ESL is awaiting the feasibility studies to be submitted to Mayor Materno Luspian for approval.

Initially, Luspian requested the EMB to do its feasibility studies for the ESL in the town but was turned down reasoning the agency does not offer services for feasibility studies.

The EMB, in turn, suggested Mankayan call a group of experts from the town itself and form a group to make the studies.

Kollin said the group is composed of experts as well as stakeholders working together to complete the needed studies.

Kollin faced the provincial board to present the completed 10-year solid waste management plan of the province.

The 10 year plan revealed most of the residents of the province manage their biodegradable waste through backyard composting, while in mining areas, like Mankayan and Itogon, the companies utilize their garbage trucks in hauling domestic waste and is dumped and managed in identified disposal areas.

The province does not have a province wide solid waste collection system giving each household the responsibility to manage their waste.

Recyclable wastes are sold to peddlers who roam the barangays while some are converted to plant boxes, while other materials are burned.

For residual waste, most residents still practice burning and burying of residual waste, some use creeks and ravines as dumping sites due to the absence of ESL.

The provincial government does not have a centralized processing facility, but it provides construction materials for Materials Recovery Facilities, which can be seen in Kapangan, Kabayan and Mankayan.

Only the province capital, La Trinidad, has a controlled dumpsite covering 9 hectares accommodating biodegradable waste.

Key issues in the province involving waste is the improper and indiscriminate disposal by households, business establishments and industries, a lack of disposal for residual waste, lack of budget, stakeholder’s opposition to the proposed ESL sites, the lack of government owned property for the ESL facility and topographical concerns like feasibility and cost issues.