DUMAGUETE CITY – Because of stringent Department of Environment and Natural Resources technical requirements, the final closure of the Candau-ay dumpsite may be delayed until the 3rd quarter of this year.
Nevertheless, the Technical Working Group assigned to come up with a safe closure and rehabilitation plan of the Candau-ay dumpsite secured the approval of Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo and soon the members of the City Council, who must affix their signatures in concurrence, prior to the plan’s submission to the DENR for review, approval and implementation.
The situation of the more than 50-year old dumpsite has caused alarm even among local government officials due to the overflowing garbage that poses danger to health and well-being of the residents. Records in 2017 show that from January to December a total of 12, 804 trips of garbage trucks dumped some 65, 620 cubic meters of wastes from government, private establishments and schools were dumped in Candau-ay except those from private hospitals and clinics that are considered pathogenic, toxic and hazardous.
Fifty seven percent (57%) of the wastes are biodegradable while 43% are non-biodegradable produced by the 28, 000 households in the city’s 30 barangays. It is estimated that the city with a day time population of nearly 400, 000 produces 80 tons of garbage per day.
As presented by the TWG, which was created by Mayor Remollo, the physical closure of the open dumpsite involves containing the 2.3 hectare that has been operating since 1965 by building a concrete perimeter fence.
The side slope shall be designed and maintained to prevent erosion, a final soil cover will support growth of vegetation. In order to prevent run off water into the sire, perimeter drainage will also be installed. A collection system for leachate-contaminated groundwater will be constructed. The city will also build monitoring wells, lighting, guard house, signage and gas vents.
The TWG composed of experts in engineering and science noted that the city government was issued a final notice to close the dump site on January 26, 2010 by the DENR; the agency even issued authority to close the dumpsite on December 1, 2010 pursuant to the previous administration’s own closure plan but no closure activities were done; thus a Closure Order was again issued on April 16, 2012.
Finally, Mayor Remollo appealed to the DENR to give the city another chance to comply with the closure order. He noted that after several closure notices his administration is committed not only to close the dumpsite but also to rehabilitate the same and build a sanitary landfill.