Subic seeks option to Kalangitan landfill closure

E.H. Edejer - Philstar.com
Subic seeks option to Kalangitan landfill closure
The Kalangitan landfill in Capas, Tarlac, whose planned closure is raising a stink among local government units, business locators and health establishments.

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines — With the planned closure this October of its waste depository in Capas, Tarlac, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is now looking for options on how to dispose of tons and tons of garbage generated daily by industrial and commercial establishments here. 

Amethya dela Llana, manager of the SBMA Ecology Center, said the scheduled closure of the Kalangitan sanitary landfill facility (SLF) this October will dramatically impact business operations here, as well as the well-maintained natural environment that boosts a thriving local tourism industry.

“It will be a huge problem, not only for locators, but also for the entire Subic Bay Freeport Zone, including residents, the SBMA, and other government offices as well,” Dela Llana said on Tuesday.

“We produce about 60 tons of garbage per day, so you can just imagine how these will pile up when there’s no place for disposal,” she added.

The Kalangitan landfill, which is operated by the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation (MCWMC), takes in some one million tons of wastes for processing each year. The wastes come from special economic zones like Subic and Clark free ports, parts of Metro Manila, as well as hundreds of local government units in Central and Northern Luzon: 32 LGUs in Pangasinan, 24 in Nueva Ecija, 16 in Pampanga, 12 in Bulacan, eight in Zambales, and six each in Bataan and Benguet.

MCWMC also processes hospital and toxic wastes at Kalangitan for thousands of hospitals in the surrounding communities.

However, the Bases Conversion and Development Agency (BCDA) and its subsidiary Clark Development Corporation (CDC), said they won’t renew the 25-year service contract of MCWMC for the operation of Kalangitan when it expires this coming October.

“We will have to look for an alternative,” said Dela Llana. “The SBMA is exploring different options right now, including looking at alternative service providers. Nevertheless, we expect Metro Clark to look for another landfill if, indeed, Kalangitan shall be closed in October.”

“At the moment, we leave it to Metro Clark to look for a solution,” she added.

SBMA Ecology Center figures show that Subic’s industrial and commercial establishments, as well as residential units produce approximately 1,650 to 1,690 tons of waste in a month. While 42% of Subic’s wastes is recycled by accredited scrap haulers, most, or a total of 58%, go to the Kalangitan landfill for processing and disposal.

The SBMA, Dela Llana said, used to operate its own sanitary landfill starting in 2000 until 2009. It was closed down upon reaching its maximum capacity.

The SBMA had since contracted out waste disposal services and MCWMC had been its service provider for four years now, Dela Llana added.

The impending closure of the Kalangitan SLF had also raised concern among LGUs, leading them to petition Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga last April to extend landfill operations in Kalangitan.

Pointing out the critical role of Kalangitan landfill in the health and environmental sustainability of local communities, 104 LGUs using the SLF urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources “to defer its closure and maintain the landfill’s operations while seeking sustainable, long-term solutions to meet the current and future waste management needs of our region.” 

“The closure of this facility threatens to precipitate literally overnight, a severe waste management crisis affecting millions of people,” the LGUs warned. “We are alarmed by the absence of comparable alternatives, as other facilities are either not fully capacitated, non-compliant with RA 9003, too small, or financially unfeasible for our local government budgets,” they added.
Handlers of hospital and toxic wastes, among them the Clark Sanitation Services, also cautioned last Friday against a “major health crisis” should the planned landfill closure materialize.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with