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ADBâs âdouble-talkâ baffles eco groups
Auxilium Olayer, a member of the EcoWaste National Executive Committee, said the ADB is engaged in doublespeak--- calling for resilience and green recovery amidst the pandemic on one hand while actively promoting WTE incineration particularly in Cebu by granting a Technical Assistance (TA) project to the Cebu City government on the other hand.

ADB’s ‘double-talk’ baffles eco groups

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - May 5, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Environment and climate civil society groups in Cebu staged a symbolic protest near the now-closed Inayawan Sanitary Landfill to demand the exclusion of Waste to Energy (WTE) incineration and other thermal-based technology from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) energy policy and all its climate and green investment policies and financing.

Auxilium Olayer, a member of the EcoWaste National Executive Committee, said the ADB is engaged in doublespeak--- calling for resilience and green recovery amidst the pandemic on one hand while actively promoting WTE incineration particularly in Cebu by granting a Technical Assistance (TA) project to the Cebu City government on the other hand.

Olayer said such assistance paves the way for the establishment of incineration projects in the city despite a clear prohibition in the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 (Republic Act 8749) banning incineration to treat municipal, biomedical, and hazardous wastes.

He said that such assistance resulted in a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) of solid waste management Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects in Cebu City in 2018, which includes a menu of waste treatment options, all incineration and thermal-based technologies.

These include incineration with energy recovery (no pre-treatment); Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) bio-drying followed by incineration; and MBT bio-drying followed by solid waste recovered fuel (STF) to cement kilns.

He said that the risks and impacts enumerated in this ADB-funded PFS corroborate with the findings of experts.  The findings state that, all thermal waste to energy technologies produce poisonous and toxic substances such as particulate matter, toxic metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated dioxins and furans, which are among the most toxic chemical substances known to science.

These impacts are closest to the hearts of informal waste pickers in Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City who were displaced as a result of the permanent closure of the city-owned landfill.

“These informal waste pickers have existing organizations but were never integrated into the city’s waste management system nor provided with adequate assistance to cope up with their loss of livelihood,” said Olayer. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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