Urdaneta landfill open to few towns only

URDANETA CITY–Neighboring local government units (LGUs) will not be simply allowed to dump their garbage in the planned 16-hectare sanitary landfill in Barangay Catablan here.

Mayor Amadeo Perez Jr. said many LGUs around Urdaneta are already seeking permission to use the facility even as the project has yet to start construction.

"We will evaluate every application and before that, we will first determine the volume of garbage that the facility can accommodate," Perez said, adding that other LGUs will have to pay for every ton of waste they will bring to the facility.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), according to Perez, has hailed the project, which is mandated for all LGUs under Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act.

Urdaneta will be the first LGU in Pangasinan to comply with this requirement and second in Region 1 after San Fernando City in La Union.

The city government is now waiting for the Land Bank of the Philippines to release P20 million initially from a P220 million loan package for the payment of the 10-hectare lot being acquired adjacent to the present six-hectare open dumpsite of the city.

Perez said once the money is released and the land is acquired, the contractor should be able to finish the project within four to five months.

Based on the project plan, 10 hectares will be used for the sanitary landfill. Once it is completed, the existing six-hectare open dumpsite would be closed and converted into a tree park.

After the 10 hectares is filled up after an estimated six-year period, it will be closed and converted into a tree park, while the six hectare former open dumpsite will be used as the alternative landfill.

Perez said the people of Catablan did not object to the project after being assured that the DENR issued the environmental compliance certificate.

Dagupan City earlier attempted to build its own sanitary landfill earlier but it failed to convince San Jacinto residents about the worthiness of the project after acquiring a 30-hectare lot. The city government later lost its right over the land in a land reform case.

Bayambang also attempted to put up one but the project was met with stiff opposition from the town population.—LM

Source: Sunday Punch