Residents want smelly Batangas dumpsite shut down

BATANGAS, Philippines – Residents of Barangay Laurel in Tanauan City here have taken their disgust on social media as they continue to call on authorities to permanently shut down the operations of a sanitary landfill in the area.

The dumpsite operated by SB Hain is situated in the boundary of Barangay Kay-Anlog in Calamba City and Barangay Laurel in Tanauan City. It is located 200 meters from Laurel Elementary School and is also beside a creek which streams to the San Juan River, flows to the Laguna Lake and its tributary through the Pasig River and onwards to Manila Bay.

On the Facebook page “Laurel Baho” a resident describes the stinking smell as “talaga naman nakakasakit ng ulo at tiyan hindi malaman kung anong amoy, halo halo na ng baho.” (The smell gives me a head and stomach ache. I couldn't  stand that stink.)

Some also felt their complaints fell on deaf ears.

Opisyales ho ng barangay ang dapat umaksyon dito. Dapat ho ay maipa-abot na ito sa Central Office ng DENR dahil walang tugon mula sa Regional Office,” another resident commented. (Barangay officials should do something about this. This complaint should reach DENR Central because the Regional office is not doing anything.)

In an interview, DENR Calabarzon Regional Executive Director Ipat Luna said that the suspension order issued by DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) last October 2018 was lifted after SB Hain complied with the specific requirements which were the basis of the suspension order. The EMB, however, did not consider the mixed waste collection and the breaching of limits which was causing problems.

Ang daming local government units (LGUs) na kinokolektahan (They are collecting trash from too many LGUs) and they are receiving mixed waste. They should only put residual waste, hindi pwedeng mixed kaya bumabaho (they should not collect mixed waste because these stink). Also as a category 1 dumpsite, the capacity should only be 15 tons a day but reports are coming in na as much as 200 tons a day ang pumapasok (are unloaded),” Luna said.

They are calling on the LGUs to reduce their volume of garbage and practice segregation and composting process for biodegradable wastes.

“If residents in all LGUs are not complying with the segregation then both the hauler and landfill operator are liable. Pag sinarado (ang landfill), wala kayong tatapunan,” Luna warned. (If the landfill closes dow, where will you dump your garbage.?)

She said the EMB is currently preparing the paperwork for re-evaluation but assured the public that DENR will crack down on the operator and LGUs if they continue to violate provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. – Rappler.com