Environment groups see serious risk in pursuing the waste-to-energy project in Cebu City.
They said proper implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Clean Air Act (RA 8749) would better solve Cebu City's garbage problem than pursuing the $102 million project proposed to be set up in the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill,
In a forum held at the Social Hall of the Cebu City Hall yesterday morning, local and global campaigners against incineration warned that the waste-to-energy project may pose more harm than good as the process may result in releasing toxic fumes in the air.
According to Paeng Lopez of the Global Alliance on Incinerator Alternatives (Gaia), the processes to be undertaken by the project proposed by the Greenergy Solutions Inc. (GSI) are classified as incinerators by the European Union and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“Waste to energy companies are more risky than coal-fired power plants,” Lopez added.
Lawyer Golly Ramos of the Philippine Earth Justice Center said there “is no way a project in direct collision with the provision of and, principles declared state policies behind the laws on Clean Air and Ecological Solid Waste Management should be allowed to address Cebu's waste-related problems.”
The contract for the proposed project is pending in the City Council's committee on environment.
Councilor Nida Cabrera, chairperson of the City Council committee on environment said GSI’s the proposal needs study.
“We should not be in a hurry, we have to study this proposal,” said Cabrera.
She added that the City Council may hear the issue in an executive session on Oct. 3. They will then submit a report to the SWMB and Mayor Michael Rama.
“We don't need a silver bullet technical solution. What Cebu City needs is a community-developed participatory waste management system where waste reduction, proper segregation and collection, recycling, and organic management are paramount,” she added.
Engr. Alan Dinampo, Vice President Internal of the Pollution Control Association of the Philippines said the 25-year WTE program is not a form of burning.
“It is an anaerobic digestion, a biogas digestion,” Dinampo said. /Joy Cherry Quito, Correspondent