DENR to close 125 open dumpsites nationwide by March’s end

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2021 09:53 PM

DENR to close 125 open dumpsites nationwide by March’s end 1
Photo from DENR Calabarzon

MANILA - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will shut down open dumpsites in the country by the end of March, following the order of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Open dumpsites are not allowed under Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The agency reported that out of 233 operating open dumpsites as of January 2021, 169 have been closed as of March 14. Some 107 of them were closed by the local government units, while 62 were issued cease and desist orders.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said there are still 125 open dumpsites to be closed by the end of the month in Mimaropa, Western and Central Visayas, Bicol, and Northern Mindanao. Mimaropa has the most number of open dumpsites with 28, followed by Western Visayas with 19. 

There were no reported open dumpsites in Cagayan Valley, Soccsksargen, Cordillera Administrative Region, and the capital region. 

Antiporda said almost all sanitary landfill operators have been accepting mixed waste, or waste that includes residual, biodegradable and recyclable wastes, so he urged them to only accept residual waste.

“Mula sa bahay magkaroon tayo ng tinatawag na honest to goodness waste segregation. Ihiwalay yung recyclable, which is more than 10 percent of the waste minsan inaabot ng 20 percent ‘yung biodegradable na 52 to 58 percent, yung matitira na another 20 percent eh napakaliit na pong basura niyan para problemahin,” he said. 

(Let us start honest to goodness waste segregation in our homes. Segregate recyclables, which take up 10 percent of the waste sometimes, and biodegradables, which is about 58 percent. The other 20 percent is a small part to be even concerning.) 

He said that segregating and composting biodegradable waste, which make up 52 to 58 percent of waste, would save up space in the sanitary landfill.

He also reminded local government units which closed open dumpsites to conduct safe closure and rehabilitation.

“They need to conduct safe closure and rehabilitation to make sure na hindi po mag-produce ng methane ‘yan at dumating ang araw na bigla na lang sumabog yan at magliyab," he said.

(This will prevent producing methane that can be a cause of explosion or fire.) 

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He urged municipalities or cities that do not have sanitary landfills of their own to create a clustered sanitary landfill that would be shared by multiple localities, or to come up with a residual containment area (RCA). 

An RCA is a temporary storage for segregated residual waste.

DENR TO SHUT ESTABLISHMENTS POLLUTING MANILA BAY

Antiporda, who is also the head of the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force, also announced that the agency would conduct a crackdown on establishments polluting Manila Bay starting March 22. 

These are establishments that were issued notices even before the pandemic but failed to correct their waste water disposal.

“We are gathering all the data now but on Monday dito muna sa Metro Manila yung gagawin nating operation. Pag nag-umpisa tayo sa Monday tuloy-tuloy na yan,” he said.

(We will focus here in Metro Manila first for our operation. When we start on Monday, it will be continuous.) 

He said there are more than 200 erring establishments.

- Report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News