TO BETTER manage the collection, management and recycling of waste into energy, Prime Integrated Waste Solutions Inc. (PIWS), a subsidiary of tycoon Enrique K. Razon Jr.-led Prime Infra, launched a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Barangay Binaliw on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024.
Mayor Michael Rama and his wife Malou, Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros, Solid Waste Management Board chief Janeses “Jade” Ponce and other Cebu City Government officials attended the launching of the MRF.
The facility is located at the former 10.4-hectare private landfill of ARN Central Waste Management Inc. that was acquired by the PIWS on Jan. 20, 2023.
In a phone interview on Monday, Rama told SunStar Cebu that the facility possessed state-of-the art equipment from the United States, Europe and Asia.
The high-tech equipment inside the MRF can efficiently segregate, process, store and recycle waste.
“It’s a welcome thing although there are still things that the city of Cebu will have to be expecting. But at the end of the day, it becomes an MRF with a renewable waste fuel,” Rama said.
By renewable fuel, Rama was referring to Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) produced from municipal solid waste, industrial waste or commercial waste.
“When it becomes waste-to-fuel na gyud, mo-qualify na siya to what I really want nga mahimo siyang (that it will become) waste-to-energy (WTE), which I was told as first in the Philippines,” Rama said.
The mayor aspires for the MRF to become a WTE plant in the coming years.
The facility currently processes around 1,000 tons of solid municipal waste per day. The waste that enters the facility is sorted to recover recyclable waste, which is further classified into RDF material.
With the new equipment of PIWS, there will be an increase in the number of tons of waste that will be converted to RDF.
According to a report from the Cebu City Government on Monday, Razon expressed his gratitude to the City Government through PIWS sector lead Carla Angelica Peralta.
“Through the support of the LGU (local government unit) and the barangays we served, PIWS was able to rehabilitate and transform this landfill into what it is today. We focus on proper and professional operations in waste handling to ensure efficiency, but most of all safety,” Peralta said.
Not just a landfill
The report added that SWMB chairperson Ponce acknowledged the efficiency of PIWS in developing the ordinary landfill by constructing facilities and bringing in equipment that can convert waste into fuel.
“So, karon, dili na ni siya (So now, it is no longer) purely landfill. Part of this is going to be RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel). So, morag kon gipasagdan pa wala pa mosulod ang (it looks like if we had just let it be and not let in the) private sector (PIWS) ani, what will happen is that we will be stuck with an ordinary landfill,” Ponce said in the report.
SunStar Cebu reached out to Ponce for more details on the facility but received no reply as of press time.
The newly launched MRF was in fulfillment of the promise to build a state-of-the-art MRF at par with the ones in Singapore City.
In May 2019, the Cebu City Government began disposing of solid waste at the landfill through a hauling service provider.