DENR to ease rules on sanitary landfills

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    Bearing the cost. Adjacent municipalities and cities are urged to cluster together and pool their resources to establish a common sanitary landfill.
    Bearing the cost. Adjacent municipalities and cities are urged to cluster together and pool their resources to establish a common sanitary landfill.

    The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is planning to make the establishment and operation of sanitary landfills easier and less expensive.

    The DENR said sanitary landfill is the waste disposal method allowed under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which local government units (LGUs) are duty-bound to follow.

    However, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said many LGUs find it difficult to comply with the law, as building and maintaining a sanitary landfill can be costly and complicated.

    “Make the establishment and operation of a sanitary landfill simpler and less costly without sacrificing the main objective of proper garbage disposal, which is to prevent lecheate from going to waterways,” Cimatu expressed.

    As part of the plan, he instructed Benny Antiporda, DENR undersecretary for solid waste management and LGU concerns, to review and revise the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 “to make way for better and bigger sanitary landfills.”

    At present, only 10 percent of concerned LGUs nationwide have sanitary landfills, two decades after the law was enacted, according to Cimatu.

    In order to comply with the law, he is urging adjacent municipalities and cities to cluster together and pool their resources to establish a common sanitary landfill apart from availing of government loans, particularly the one being offered by the Development Bank of the Philippines under its green financing program.

    With this, LGUs can come up with a scheme to pay back the loan, such as through collection of tipping fees, Cimatu said.

    A sanitary landfill is a solid waste management facility that utilizes an engineered method of waste disposal, primarily for municipal solid waste to be processed in a manner that can protect public health and the environment.