EWC official says waste-to-energy costs more

THE Davao City Government will have to increase its spending once the City Council pushes for the implementation of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) process.

The WTE is set to replace the current waste disposal management being operated in the sanitary landfill in New Carmen, Tugbok, an EcoWaste Coalition (EWC) official said.

Speaking during the Kapehan sa Dabaw media forum at The Annex of SM City Davao on Monday, September 25, EWC national coordinator Aileen Lucero said the implementation of WTE costs more than the usual waste disposal management in the city as it requires additional machines and bigger facility.

"If the city acquires WTE, the local government unit has to pay at least P50,000 to P100,000 every burning of wastes depending on the deal of the service company," she said.

In WTE plants, Lucero said a company usually asks the City Government or the client to sign a contract of a 20 to 30 years lock-in time wherein the city government shall have to pay the volume of waste to burn regardless of the waste content.

Thus, the WTE company shall demand the city payment for every 600 tons of waste being produced by the city every day.

She said 40 percent of the 600 tons of wastes are biodegradable, which can be burned and converted to energy. The rest of the 60 percent are non-biodegradable materials and cannot be used to produce energy.

"It is an unreasonable decision as the amount we pay for every 600 tons can only produce inadequate amount of energy," she said.

Aside from the financial demand it requires, Lucero said WTE also contributes to increasing level of water and air pollution in the city as its process emits toxic compounds.

She added that it will also result to the loss of jobs of waste pickers and operators in the current sanitary landfill as WTE does not need more employees than landfills.

Last year, City Council Committee Chair on Energy Councilor Louie John Bonguyan said WTE is feasible and timely as the waste collection in the city is increasing, wherein ordinary sanitary landfill may find it difficult to sustain.

Various local and national environmental groups reacted negatively to the proposal due to its environmental and health effects.


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