Rama: Don’t reopen Inayawan landfill
Kristine B. Quintas/JMD (The Freeman) - February 24, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Owing to various legal and environmental issues, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama shut down the proposal of the City Council to open portions of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill as a garbage transfer station.

Councilor Nida Cabrera, chairperson of the council committee on environment, earlier proposed to set aside a 1,000 to 1,2000-square meter lot at the landfill as a transfer station near the P15 million recycling facility funded by Yokohama-based Mansei Recycle Systems Co. Ltd.

The city has established an interim transfer station at the warehouse of Inayawan Barangay Captain Lotlot Ignacio at no cost to the city.  The transfer station is used to screen waste and help reduce the cost of transporting waste to disposal facility in Consolacion.

The city has totally closed the landfill on January 15.

Reopening the landfill, the mayor contended, will violate Republic Act 9003, considering that the facility has exceeded its allowed life span which means it already poses danger to health and environment.

If opened, the city will be paying a penalty ranging from P10,000 to P500,000.

Apart from this, Rama said the continued presence and operation of the landfill will deteriorate the marketability of the South Road Properties which is near the non-operational dumping facility.

Filinvest Land Inc, in a letter, agreed that the closure of the landfill will boost and bring in more investors in SRP as it will “protect and continually make our development attractive to the market.”

Reopening the facility will contribute to worsening traffic congestions as well, Rama said.

“A sanitary landfill sited within Cebu City would worsen traffic congestion with garbage trucks from all 80 barangays and from private haulers all competing to use the city’s limited road network,” he said, adding that the city has no viable landfill space that residents will be amenable to.

The P209 million landfill was designed to last only for seven years and was supposed to be closed in 2005 yet. It occupies 15.41 hectares but only about 11 hectares were used for actual dumping.

The facility, which has been in operation for 15 years, was built in September 1998 through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

A study made by the University of San Carlos entitled “Fate and transport of chromium, lead and mercury in the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill” revealed the “alarming” presence of toxic substances at the landfill above average levels and likely generated from mercury-contained household solid waste products.

Moreover, the mayor said disposing city’s wastes to Consolacion and other local government units will somehow help them in the establishment of infrastructure projects and fund their basic services.

He explained that a LGU is expected to earn P315,000 to P350,000 for tipping a day or about P9,450,000 to P10,500,000 a month for tipping fees at 450 to 500 tons of garbage a day.

“There is probably no publicly run enterprise in any municipality that could earn this much income in a given time period. In sum, this is not about throwing waste as it is about spreading opportunities because there is pera sa basura,” he said.  (FREEMAN)

CEBU CITY CEBU CITY MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA CITY CITY COUNCIL CONSOLACION COUNCILOR NIDA CABRERA FILINVEST LAND INC INAYAWAN BARANGAY CAPTAIN LOTLOT IGNACIO INAYAWAN SANITARY LANDFILL LANDFILL
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