BAGUIO CITY — While the city faces consequent problems by the shutting down of the Irisan dumpsite, the local government is now considering offers made by private individuals for possible landfill sites for its garbage.
Since the closure of Irisan, the city has received offers from Baguio City and municipalities of Tuba, Itogon, Sablan and Tublay of Benguet, measuring from as small as 10 hectares to as big as 126 hectares.
“We are to authorize Mayor Peter Rey Bautista to do the negotiations with these lot owners with regards to the cost of the purchase of these lands,” said Vice-Mayor Daniel Fariñas during a media briefing Thursday adding that the city needs at least 22 hectares for a sanitary landfill for its current garbage production of 115 tons per day, 8-10 tons of which come from the public market.
According to Fariñas the city council should appropriate at least P20 million for the initial funds needed for the land purchase. The land cost would depend on the kind of property whether it is titled or just with a tax declaration.
Fariñas also said the negotiations would not be limited to one site.
“We expect for the city’s population to increase so it is better to purchase more lands when it is cheaper,” added Fariñas.
Meanwhile Bautista did an aerial and site inspections of the possible dump site in Capas, Tarlac.
Fifteen trucks of the private hauler Metro Waste were then dispatched to Capas Thursday afternoon hauling residual wastes temporary held at Irisan dumpsite.
According to Fariñas, the hauling of the city’s residual wastes to Capas would cost at least P35,000 a month inclusive of hauling fees, tipping fees and other charges.
Negotiations between the city and officials of Naguilian, La Union is still on going and has not yet been finalized.
The city council is also considering the setting up of material recovery facilities in barangays worth P42 million and 10 dump trucks worth P35 million. The said amount would come from the supplemental budget of the city.
To avail of the calamity funds to help resolve this garbage problem, Fariñas earlier filed a resolution to declare the city under a state of calamity.
Meanwhile, some Baguio residents are already dumping their wastes in creeks leading to the Balili River ending up at La Trinidad, Benguet, and eventually into the Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan.
“If necessary, we would have to fence our side of the river to prevent the garbage from getting to La Trinidad,” said Fariñas pointing out that it would be embarrassing for our garbage to land in La Trinidad.
The vice mayor is also adamant in asking for everybody’s cooperation with the present garbage situation.
“We laud those barangays that already started waste segregation and we appeal to everybody to do the same even at the household level,” said Fariñas.
As of press time, garbage from the central business district is the only garbage being hauled and temporarily held at a fenced holding area in Irisan.
The city council is scheduled to discuss this garbage issue on its resumption of session Monday. # Cye Reyes