By Chito A. Chavez
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista ordered the city’s environmental protection and waste management department (EPWMD) to find guidelines that will allow the city to find new garbage disposal sites with the impending closure of the Payatas dumpsite this year.
The EPWMD was instructed to conduct extensive studies as to which of the sites offered to the city are the most cost-efficient with the expected bigger budget for hauling services once the city’s disposal facility has been moved elsewhere.
To date, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has designated the Rodriguez Provincial Sanitary Landfill and the Vitas Marine Loading Station in Manila as alternative disposal sites for Quezon City’s garbage.
However, EPWMD head Frederika Rentoy said that allowing the re-opening of Quezon City’s controlled disposal facility in Payatas is necessary to give the city government ample time to prepare and institute its operationalization plan for the new garbage disposal and collection once the closure plan has been finalized.
She said that the preparation shall include budget deliberation since a bigger budget is needed by the city government for hauling services once the city’s disposal facility is transferred.
“It is necessary that a considerable amount time should be provided for by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) since the city council still has to deliberate on the supplemental budget that is needed in order for the city government to implement the plan, Rentoy said.
Based on EPWMD record, the city government spends about P780 million annually for hauling services to Payatas.
According to Rentoy, the hauling cost could reach P1.7 billion should the city’s disposal facility be moved to Rizal Province and Manila.
Aside from budget deliberation, it is also imperative to look into the readiness of the garbage disposal facilities that are being offered to Quezon City, Rentoy said.
Quezon City uses about 550 trucks for its garbage collection and disposal needs.
“Baka naman magkaroon na ng over-capacity iyong ibang disposal facilities,” said Rentoy.
Rentoy said all alternative sites offered to QC also demand a longer route for the city’s garbage trucks.
Considering that a new contract will be entered by the city government with a new hauling service provider, it is also imperative to check on the capability of a big hauling fleet since all alternative sites offered to QC also demand suitable trucks for a long haul.