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Unknown to many, there are still 55 open garbage dumpsites “illegally operating” in the province despite warnings issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for its closure.

Although the DENR is closely monitoring these dumpsites, the biggest of which is the city dumpsite in barangay Dampas, the local government units should still be at the forefront of adopting means to eliminate open dumping of garbage.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (Penro) Nestor Canda, in an interview with the Chronicle said Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, no longer allow the use of open dumping.

Since its passage in 2001, the local government units were given eight years to comply with the waste management law.

“The extension for the implementation of RA 9003 expired in 2005 but sad to say, there are only a few municipalities that are pushing for measures to control their wastes,” Canda said.
The 55 open dumps still in operation, according to Canda, have been issued notices for compliance by the DENR.

“It is sad to note that most of the local governments are not complying or even adopting schemes to lessen the environmental impact of open dumping,” the local DENR official said.

Canda cited the towns of Jagna, Duero and Tubigon which are already enforcing strict implementation of waste segregation at the household level, recycling and composting of biodegradable wastes.

Wastes generated by these towns are lessened by at least 60 percent and only a small amount of wastes would actually go to its landfills or dumpsites, he added.

While there is a plan to build a technologically advanced solid waste management facility here in the city, the open dumpsite in barangay Dampas is facing threats of closure due to the mounting garbage problem in the city which produces a little over 100 tons of household, commercial, industrial, agricultural and other wastes.

Unlike Jagna and Duero which took initiatives to obtain technical knowledge on how to address their waste management problems, the city and other towns could only adopt controlled dumping.
A modern sanitary landfill project in Albur eyed to become the common waste facility of 13 neighboring towns is still in the process of construction even as the town’s residents strongly oppose the project.

According to Canda, they will continue to issue notices to local government units and allow them to comply with RA 9003.

Canda advocated that other towns also adopt the waste management scheme of Jagna and Duero.

“If only waste segregation at source is practiced in the household level, our volume of garbage brought to the open dumpsites is estimated to be minimized by about 20 percent,” Canda stressed.

For a start, Canda suggested that every barangay must adopt a common area for materials recovery and composting.

source: The Bohol Chronicle

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