DAGUPAN is close to ending its 50-year garbage problem with the expected installation of the waste-to-energy (W2E) technology for the management and disposal of the city’s waste whose volume already reaches some 30 tons a day.
This was underscored by Mayor Belen Fernandez in her State of the City Address (SOCA) on April 3 as she called on the residents of the city to be patient as all roadblocks to the W2E facility have all been cleared.
“We are 100% committed to follow our laws, as well as taking the next bold step to managing our wastes,” she said.
“In fact, the Waste-to-Energy project has already been awarded,” she added but withheld the name of the company that won the contract.
The facility, soon to be the first of its kind in the Philippines, which will be constructed at no cost to the city, will convert wastes into diesel fuel for use of jeepneys, motorized tricycles and motorized boats, which are aplenty in a coastal city like Dagupan with five island barangays.
Meanwhile, the mayor said the city just bought its binding machine to compact all plastics collected from all places to support its waste segregation policy while food wastes collected from the markets and households are being composted to convert them into organic fertilizers.
Waste Management Division chief Ronald de Guzman said the compacted plastics will soon be fed into the W2E project.
The mayor said the city government is also procuring 10 brand new dump trucks for a more efficient collection of segregated wastes from all 31 barangays.
Under the arrangement for the operation of the W2E, it will still be responsibility of the city government to collect segregated wastes from households and the markets for delivery to the project site in Barangay Bonuan Binloc.
“At this stage, we are working closely with the barangays for the enforcement of solid waste segregation, composting and sustained information and education on proper waste disposal,” Fernandez said.
The Waste-to-energy facility was introduced to the city by Procter and Gamble in 2013 at the start of the Fernandez administration and it searched for companies that could invest in it.
The mayor said the U.S. State Department is also helping Dagupan establish the facility as the model in Asia.
Meanwhile, De Guzman, said the closed dumpsite is now being rehabilitated by covering it with layers of soil and will be converted into tree park in a few years. (Leonardo Micua)