Cagayan de Oro City offers sanitary landfill for use of other towns

Bobby Lagsa
Cagayan de Oro City offers sanitary landfill for use of other towns
CdO says it will collect fees from towns which will avail of its new sanitary landfill

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines –  Mayor Oscar Moreno on Thursday, January 30, said that nearby municipalities may use the new sanitary landfill in Barangay Pagalungan here for a fee.

In 2016, the city closed its old Zayas dumpsite in compliance with orders from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Cagayan de Oro opened the 45-hectare landfill in Barangay Pagalungan as a replacement. Moreno showed DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu the new dumpsite and landfill of the city together with DENR Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) officials.

“Even from the very start, we planned that this is not just for Cagayan de Oro. We know that it’s not easy to do and it’s very expensive (to operate a landfill) and to have it managed by groups that really have the technical expertise. And it’s not a simple operation,” Moreno said.

Moreno said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) plans to build roads to connect the landfill to the western part of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon. Once the roads are completed, delivery trucks do not have to pass through existing roads of the city.

But Moreno said the city will collect fees from towns that will throw their waste in the new landfill. 

He said DILG records show that  85% of towns and cities across the country do not have their own sanitary landfills. With an accessible landfill, Moreno added,  local governments will not only focus on garbage collection.

The new landfill will only accept residual waste as mandated by Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act.

“Like I said, the cost of the land, operations of the landfill, the delivery of garbage, that is expensive, it’s not a joke,” Moreno said.

SANITARY. A sanitary landfill workers sprays anti-bacterial agent into a newly dumped residual waste at the Cagayan de Oro City Sanitary Landfill in Barangay Pagalungan. Photo bt Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Previously, Moreno and the city councilors faced a case at the environmental ombudsman as Cagayan de Oro failed to comply with RA 9003, which required LGUs to operate an engineered sanitary landfill. As a response, the city opened its sanitary landfill in 2016.

The city government  pays garbage operator IPMCDC P499.00 per ton of residual waste. Cagayan de Oro produces 1,200 tons per day. The city government has allowed barangays to segregate garbage at site to reduce the volume of waste, and ensure that garbage collected must be residual.

Cagayan de Oro is expected to lesses its volume of garbage as the city started implementing a ban on single-use plastics starting January 15. Cellophanes are only allowed for fish and meat products.

Cimatu is impressed

DENR Roy Cimatu said  he was impressed with the way the Cagayan de Oro managed to close the dumpsite and transition into the landfill operation.

“When I was still the commander of the 4th Infantry Division here, I used to passed by the dumpsite and I get mad looking at it. Now, I am the DENR Secretary, I am glad that it was shut down and we get a sprawling modern landfill here, so congratulations to your city,” Cimatu said.

Prior to visiting the landfill, Cimatu dropped by the old dumpsite that is now being transformed into an ecopark. The former dumpsite scavengers now have their own cooperative which produces ecobricks out of grounded plastic and cement.

“After all these years, they said it has been 30 years (of dumpsite operations), what is now the use of the land? So they transformed it into an ecopark and the same time, we improve the land,” Cimatu said. –

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