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Landfill closure may spur illegal dumping

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By Adrian H. Halili, Reporter

THE CLOSURE of a landfill in Tarlac may result in increased illegal dumping, an environmental group said on Wednesday.

“The possible result of this is that it would just encourage more open dump sites or illegal dump sites in the areas where these wastes come from. So that’s the first real risk,” Froilan Grate, regional coordinator for Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) Asia Pacific, told BusinessWorld.

Metro Clark Waste Management Corp.’s (MCWMC) 25-year contract for the Kalangitan sanitary landfill is set to expire by October.

Environmental groups and local government units (LGU) have warned that a potential waste crisis appears to be the imminent consequence.

An estimated 4,000 metric tons (MT) of waste is dumped into the Kalangitan facility per day.

Mr. Grate said that the closure could also disrupt existing zero-waste programs or waste collection programs implemented by LGUs.

“Because a city generates more trash knowing it has somewhere to go… The result will be more mosquitoes, disease, and flooding. So, it will have an impact on our community,” he said in Filipino.

Earlier, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) had touted three potential sites which could offset the potential loss from the closure of the Kalangitan landfill.

The BCDA said the three sites are run by Eco Protect Management Corp., whose landfill has a capacity of 2,500 MT per day; Floridablanca Enviro Park Project Corp. with a 3,500 MT per day landfill; and Prime Integrated Waste Solutions, Inc., which operates a 5,000-MT materials recovery facility.

While BCDA Chairman Delfin N. Lorenzana has rejected speculations of an impending garbage crisis in Central Luzon due to the Kalangitan facility’s closure, Mr. Grate underscored that most LGUs had already been used to sending their garbage to the Tarlac landfill.

He added that the MCWMC has several partnerships with LGUs to take in residual wastes from their areas, which had prolonged the landfills’ life.

The agency had said that a sanitary landfill is no longer consistent with the government’s vision of transforming New Clark City into a premier investment and tourism destination.

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