Wednesday, May 25, 2011

High-tech landfill in San Mateo ready to process garbage from Metro Manila

A 19-hectare sanitary landfill in San Mateo, Rizal, which was earlier met with opposition and complaints, opened over the weekend.

Andy Santiago, president of San Mateo Landfill and Development Corp. (SMLDC), which operates the facility, said the landfill, which uses state-of-the-art technology, was ready to accommodate and process garbage coming from Metro Manila.

The construction of the P300-million sanitary landfill located at Barangay (village) Pintong Bukawe had been opposed by a real-estate developer and environmental groups because it allegedly violated environment regulations and had encroached on a watershed area.

Cases were later filed with some dismissed and several others pending in court, Santiago said.

An environment compliance certificate issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), however, gave SMLDC the green light to start operating the facility.

In 2009 and 2010, it began handling the garbage of residents of San Mateo and Cainta, respectively.

Dubbed as the “hi-tech recycle bin of residual waste,” the sanitary landfill was launched on Saturday with Rizal Governor Jun Ynares, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino and DENR regional officials in attendance.

Santiago explained that the new San Mateo landfill was different from other landfills in the country for it would soon have the refuse derived fuel facility (RDF), which converts waste into fuel for cement production.

“We are considering a lot of ways to minimize landfilling. [Through] the RDF, the residual waste would be down by 60 percent,” he said.

The landfill also has leachate holding ponds, a water-treatment facility that produces clean water to grow fish and plants and a material recovery facility that recycles garbage.

In addition, it has a 1,000-square-meter greenhouse plantation, a bike trail and gazebos that can be used as viewing decks.

Santiago stressed that the Rizal provincial government and the San Mateo municipality had been benefiting from the landfill without shelling out a single cent.

He said that the two local governments get 25 percent of the tipping fees that the SMLDC collects from processing wastes.


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