environmental issues

Garbage crisis looms with coming closure of Metro Clark landfill in Tarlac

Joann Manabat

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Garbage crisis looms with coming closure of Metro Clark landfill in Tarlac

Kalangitan Sanitary landfill

Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation Facebook

More than 4,000 tons of wastes from 121 LGUs from 8 provinces are being brought daily to the Kalangitan sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac

PAMPANGA, Philippines – Over a hundred local government units (LGUs) in Central and North Luzon have raised the alarm in a looming garbage crisis with the closure of the Kalangitan sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac in October.

Environmental officers from 121 LGUs from the Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region raised their concern over the closure through a petition sent to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga and the regional officers of the National Solid Waste Commission (NSWC) on April 22.

The Kalangitan sanitary landfill is operated by the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation. (MCWMC).

The petition said that the Kalangitan facility was an integral part of the waste management system of LGUs as it was the largest sanitary landfill in the region that complied with environmental standards of Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“The closure of this facility threatens to precipitate literally overnight, a severe waste management crisis throughout 3 Regions in Luzon directly affecting millions of its people,” the petition stated.

According to a report obtained by Rappler on Wednesday, May 8, the Bases Conversion Development Agency (BCDA) and its subsidiary, Clark Development Corporation (CDC), planned to close the Kalangitan landfill. MCWMC has a 25-year-contract to operate the Kalangitan facility which will expire in October 2024.

“There will be no extension or renewal to be granted and that MCWMC should immediately cease its operations,” it stated.

Rappler has reached out to BCDA and CDC and has a pending approval for an interview. We will update this story once they respond.

A source, on Thursday, May 9, also confirmed with Rappler that the NSWC of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)- Central Luzon met in May with the officials of CDC on the planned closure of the Kalangitan landfill.

MCWMC is the sanitary builder and operator of the landfill. It services nearly all households, business establishments such as malls, hospitals, industries operating in cities and provinces in Central Luzon including major economic zones in Subic and Clark.

More than 4,000 tons of wastes daily are being brought to the Kalangitan landfill from the 121 municipalities from 8 provinces:

  • Pangasinan – 32
  • Nueva Ecija – 24
  • Tarlac – 17
  • Pampanga – 16
  • Bulacan – 12
  • Zambales – 8
  • Bataan – 6
  • Benguet – 6

The environmental officers said in their petition that the “absence of comparable alternatives, as other facilities are either not fully capacitated, non compliant with RA 9003, too small or financially unfeasible or not affordable for their respective local governments.

Based on the report, BCDA and CDC proposed a plan to convert the existing sanitary landfill into a tourism-oriented development project.

“Closing Kalangitan without any alternative plan to deal with the massive waste that needs to be disposed daily is irresponsible of BCDA and CDC with both agencies in-charge of instituting economic progress and development within and around the former US military installations in the region,” the report said.

At present, the 4,000-5,000 daily household, industrial and institutional wastes being hauled and disposed in the World-class Kalangitan sanitary landfill can easily be accommodated at a lesser cost to local governments and far more efficient, than the landfill site located in the west end of Central Luzon (Floridablanca, Pampanga).

This so-called alternative landfill has yet to secure the necessary permits required by government regulatory agencies. – Rappler.com

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