Jul 29, 2019

Baguio City’s Mayor is on a roll. After announcing a Boracay-scale rehabilitation initiative earlier this month, Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s next plan is to turn a decommissioned dumpsite in Brgy. Irisan into an ecological park by 2021.

The dump which collapsed in 2011 killing seven people and burying houses in filth was closed in 2009 by local residents who fear it has reached its capacity. A few months after the tragic collapse, a writ of kalikasan was filed effectively shutting down its operations (176,600 tons of biodegradable trash and plastics after).

Magalong who assumed office in June was very vocal about rehabilitating the 5.2-hectare site, even saying he would hold office there as a group of environmentalists studied the ground.

In August 2011, due to Typhoon “Mina” the Brgy. Irisan dump collapsed killing seven people and burying nearby houses in filth. Photo courtesy of Karlston Lapniten for Inquirer.net

His plan? To convert part of it into an herb and flower garden, put up a community assembly area called a “dap-ay”, a food hub, and raise a tree nursery among others through a P17 million project.

According to a report by Inquirer.net, a water-permeable fiber called geotextile will be laid over 9,000 sq. m. of the dump to compress loose soil and trash.

As per waste management woes,  a waste-to-energy plant is being eyed in Dontogan, Benguet at the Baguio Dairy Farm reserve. Although this plan received flack from environmentalists specifically a retired chemist named Paul Connett, who called it “lazy solutions for politicians.

Instead of waiting for the local government to collect their biodegradable trash, Connett said residents could set up community composting areas.

Fertilizer-making machines set up at the former dump site have been producing 189 tons of powdered fertilizer from 720 tons of biological waste each month.

While the city currently spends P70 million to transfer nonbiodegradable garbage from its growing population to a Pangasinan landfill.


Header photo by Richard Balonglong / Inquirer.net

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TAGS: Baguio City baguio rehab irisan dump site