CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) chief Art Punzalan is urging the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to set up guidelines on how to implement alternative "waste-to-energy programs."

Punzalan's call is in line with the law banning open waste dumping and the strict implementation of segregation measures.

Most local government units now dump their waste in landfills but Punzalan admitted that even landfills may eventually fill up in matters of years.

He said the DENR should look into the technology of processing waste into something more useful to the community.

The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 prohibits the existence and operation of waste dump sites, where most municipalities have been dumping their garbage, and has forced local government units to start segregation a program in the barangay level, and establishment of material recovery facilities to ensure that only residual waste end up in dumpsites.

"The DENR should lead the initiative on waste to power, if there is even such available technology," Punzalan said.

He added that the DENR should look closely on companies peddling "waste to energy" technology to local government units stressing that the national government should set up guidelines to prevent any possible abuse.

Local government units have been toying with programs on alleged "waste-to-energy" technologies. As of this writing," waste-to-energy" programs in Pampanga have yet to yield any substantial results.

In 2007, Pampanga only produced 745 tons of wastes daily. However, in 2008, the province has produced 1,696 tons of wastes daily due to ineffective local waste management programs. In 2010, the average waste generation is 5,179 tons a day, which is more than 300 percent of 2008.

DENR Regional Director Lormelyn Claudio said the province today produces some 1,200 metric tons of garbage but only 200 metric tons is actually disposed at the Metro Clark Sanitary Landfill.