Garbage Disposal

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THE disagreement between the Department of Tourism and the Aklan local government over the location of a modern waste-treatment facility for Boracay Island has been resolved, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Monday.

Zoilo Andin 2nd, special action officer of the DENR for Boracay Island, said Mayor Ciceron Cawaling of Malay agreed to place the facility within the island not in the mainland in Aklan.

“They [the parties] are now OK, the disposal site will be set up on the island. The garbage will no longer be barged and processed in the mainland except special waste like batteries, bulbs and medical waste,” he told reporters in an interview.

Now that the dispute is over, the DENR expects the P14-milion grinder-crusher technology being eyed by the DOT to be put up on Boracay Island by September in time for the start of the peak season.

With the establishment of the new technology, the cost of which will be shouldered by the tourism department, Andin said a controlled-waste facility, an environmentally sound waste disposal site, to replace the existing open dump is no longer needed.

“This [grinder crusher] is a zero-waste technology,” he added. The grinder crusher will also pave the way for the closure of the open dump on Boracay Island which is being used despite it is already banned under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The problem of the environment department where to get soil to cover the open dump as a remedial measure, however, still remains.

“We’re looking at getting soil from the mainland [Aklan] but it is expensive. We’re appealing to residents of Boracay if they could allow the local government to extract soil in their property to address the existing open dump,” Andin said.
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