EMB urges Virac LGU to close Casoocan dumpsite

The Environmental Management Bureau has urged the local government unit of Virac to immediately cease the operation of its Casoocan open dumpsite, close the disposal site and fully implement the Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan supposed to be submitted last week.

In her letter-directive dated Jan. 14, 2020, EMB OIC-regional director Engr. Maria Socorro A. Abu said an inspection of the solid waste disposal site conducted by her personnel last Nov. 13, 2019 revealed that Virac is operating an open dumpsite in violation of Sec. 37 of Republic Act 9003.

“…All intended programs for the closure and rehabilitation of the dumpsite should have been implemented,” the EMB chief stated.

The inspection also discovered that while the Central Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in San Isidro Village is operational, it did not fully comply with the requirements stipulated under Rule XI of the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of RA 9003.

Engr. Abu advised the LGU to strengthen the operation of the MRF by making operational the composter and plastic densifier which appears to have been idled for the past months.

She also enjoined the municipal government to provide and maintain a record of the daily weight or volume of biodegradables, recyclables, potential residual waste for diversion and other materials recovered, received, processed and removed for the LGU to track the waste diversion goals; provide proper housekeeping within and outside the facility to promote productivity, more effective usage of space, better hygienic condition and reduction of property damage; conduct continuous IEC campaign in the town to promote and practice household composting, upcycling and other waste reduction methods; provide all-weather signage; provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to workers; and strengthen the integration of waste minimization, materials conservation, composting, waste recovery, and re-use through segregation-at-source among stakeholders and the implementation of segregated collection by the LGU and the barangays.

During the term of former Mayor Samuel Laynes, it was learned, the municipality had already submitted its Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan for the open dumpsite, conducted compaction of the waste and laid a soil cover on the waste, among other requirements. Reportedly, it had purchased a nearby lot for use a sanitary landfill.

Last year, however, the municipality’s solid waste disposal section decided to dump garbage on the rehabilitated site, prompting the EMB inspection.

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