CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – An official of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that unless residual waste collected from local government units are properly segregated, sanitary landfills in Central Luzon should not allow its disposal in their respective dumping facilities.
This developed as DENR-EMB director for Region 3, Wilson Trajeco disclosed that his office would compel non-complying Local Government Units (LGUs) to have their segregation at source and immediately implement in their respective jurisdictions RA 9003 or the Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000, which has taken into effect for the past 22 years.
“Local government units should immediately comply with the provisions of the law on segregation. Otherwise with the cooperation of the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) our agency will submit our findings on their violations in preparation for filing of appropriate charges against certain LGU chief executives,”Trajeco said.
Simultaneously, DENR-EMB will strictly monitor all sanitary landfills’ operation regionwide and warn them against accepting mixed wastes. Otherwise, Notices of Violations (NOVs) will be issued against those operators.
“Their (sanitary landfills) compliance certificates only allows them to accept in their respective facilities segregated residual wastes,” the EMB Director stressed.
Trajeco added: “Paalala ko lang sa mga sanitary landfill. The EMB is not lowering our guards in the implementation of environmental laws. Just comply with the regulation, rest assured no Notice of Violations will be issued.”
Trajeco explained that, “It is a basic policy of the state to have a segregation at source. We will invoke that provision to enforce the law and the national agency like EMB based on the law has a distinguishing line with regards to segregation… We are only giving technical assistance, the one who implements are the LGUS including regulated sanitary landfills.”
He defined mixed wastes as domestic waste discarded from households without hazardous wastes.
The DENR-EMB has issued a NOV to Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation (MCWMC) last June for accepting mixed wastes in their sanitary landfill facilities in Capas, Tarlac.
“Before their ECC was issued, the landfill vowed to collect only residual waste,” Trajeco said, adding that the company has the right to advise their client-LGUs to bring back waste to the source for segregation, “kung totoo sila sa kanilang project na residual waste lang ang tinatanggap nila.”
Referring to Metro Clark’s Notice of Violation, Trajeco said, “With their last violation, we are giving them enough time to comply with their ECC which was issued to them for collecting mixed residual waste. The EMB is giving them 3 to 4 months. Kung nagbibigay man kami ng notice, dina-dahan dahan natin para maka pagcomply sila sa ating mga regulations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Metro Clark denied accepting mixed wastes in their Kalangitan landfill facilities six months ago, reiterating that the company only accepts residual wastes from their clients.
Trajeco suggested that sanitary landfills should post “spotters” who would check waste before disposal, and return unsegregated waste to respective LGUs, which should be stipulated in their Memorandum of Agreement.
“The Regional EMB is currently monitoring landfills in Central Luzon. If any of them is found accepting mixed wastes, we will immediately issue necessary NOVs and have their cases adjudicated,” Trajeco disclosed.