Exploring Viable Solutions to Address Waste Management in Luzon

SunStar Pelayo
SunStar PelayoThe Fort

As the impending closure of the Kalangitan landfill in Capas, Tarlac approaches this October, concerns about a potential solid waste crisis in Central Luzon have been circulating. However, amidst the noise and apprehension of some groups including Capas mayor where it was reported that his town can dump for free, it is crucial to consider the insights shared by others, shedding light on viable alternative sites for sanitary landfills in the region.

Having delved into known environmental advocate and city councilor Rox Peña's illuminating two-part articles, which draw upon discussions held within the Metro Clark Advisory Council (MCAC) comprising local chief executives around Clark, a promising picture emerges. His part 2 article highlighted the presence of alternative landfill sites in Pampanga, particularly in Floridablanca town and the municipality of Porac, managed by Eco-Protect Management Corporation (EPMC).

The essence of Peña’s second part lies in the fact that there are alternatives unlike what others before claim. With this fact, exploration of alternatives must be done to address the impending closure of the Kalangitan landfill. By leveraging the existing infrastructure in Floridablanca and Porac, there may be a tangible solution at hand to mitigate the potential solid waste management challenges facing Central and North Luzon.

In a recent development, a new P1-B Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) by Prime Infra has been unveiled also in Porac, offering a glimpse of hope in the quest for sustainable waste management practices in the region. While initial reports touted the facility as “the alternative” to the Kalangitan landfill, questions have arisen regarding its classification – is it truly an MRF or a sanitary landfill?

The distinction holds significant implications, as a mere MRF permit would necessitate the support of a sanitary landfill for effective waste disposal. In this context, the presence of established landfill sites in Floridablanca, which was believed to be constructed by a Malaysian company, and the landfill operated by Eco-Protect Management Corporation (EPMC) in Porac, assumes critical importance.

Recent revelations have unveiled a multifaceted approach to addressing waste management challenges, spearheaded by Eco-Protect Management Corporation (EPMC) and their vision for sustainable solutions. Beyond the confines of traditional waste disposal methods, EPMC has set its sights on pioneering Waste-to-Energy solutions that hold the key to unlocking a renewable energy source in the Philippines. This forward-looking initiative not only addresses the pressing need for effective waste management but also paves the way for a sustainable energy future, marking a significant step towards environmental stewardship and resource efficiency.

The convergence of waste management and renewable energy not only offers a practical solution to the impending closure of the Kalangitan landfill but also presents an opportunity to chart a new course towards a cleaner, greener future. By embracing the potential of Waste-to-Energy solutions, Central Luzon can transition towards a circular economy model that maximizes resource efficiency and minimizes environmental impact.

As discussions surrounding the fate of the Kalangitan landfill unfold, the spotlight shines on the landfill operated by EPMC in Porac. With a robust infrastructure, a commitment to environmental sustainability, and a vision for renewable energy generation, EPMC’s landfill seems like a compelling choice for Central and North Luzon’s solid waste management needs.

Moreover, EPMC’s proactive stance towards sustainable waste management and renewable energy underscores a commitment to holistic environmental stewardship and community well-being. As the landscape of waste management evolves, the integration of innovative solutions holds the key to strengthen a harmonious relationship between development and environmental preservation.

Among these options, the existing landfill in Porac emerges as a practical and viable choice, offering a host of advantages that position it as a sustainable solution for Central Luzon’s waste management needs. Noteworthy attributes such as its well-maintained category 4 grade, proximity, logistical accessibility, ample room for expansion, and isolation from residential communities underscore the merits of leveraging this resource.

The convergence of the newly opened Prime Infra MRF in Porac and the established landfill operated by EPMC presents a compelling narrative of collaboration and innovation in waste management. By aligning efforts towards maximizing the potential of these resources, stakeholders can pave the way for a cleaner, greener future for the region.

In light of these developments, the decision-makers at the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Clark Development Corporation (CDC) face a pivotal juncture in shaping the region’s waste management trajectory. Should the decision be made not to renew or extend the contract of the Kalangitan landfill, the Porac landfill operated by EPMC and the Prime Infra MRF (also in Porac), as well as the one in Floridablanca, stand as strong alternatives that may potentially display the power of collaboration and innovation.

As discussions within the MCAC have underscored, tapping into this resource could serve as a sustainable way forward, ensuring the efficient management of solid waste while safeguarding the environment.

In light of these revelations, it becomes imperative for stakeholders and decision-makers to prioritize the exploration of alternatives such as the Porac landfill. By proactively engaging with initiatives that promote responsible waste management practices, North and Central Luzon can navigate the impending closure of the Kalangitan landfill with resilience and foresight.

The time is ripe for collaboration, exploration, and action. Let us seize the potential presented by alternative landfill sites in Pampanga and work towards a future where sound waste management practices pave the way for a cleaner, greener Luzon.

In unity and purpose, let’s hope that our decision-makers forge ahead towards a future where sustainable waste management practices and renewable energy solutions converge to create a thriving, resilient, and vibrant Luzon for all.

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