DAVAO CITY’S waste-to-energy (WTE) project, planned in partnership with its sister city Kitakyushi in Japan, has been reverted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) upon the recommendation of the Davao Regional Council.
“As of the moment, the WTE project is with the DENR because… there is a new discussion at the Regional Development Council (RDC) 11,” Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio said in mixed English and Visayan over the local government-run radio last week.
The regional council, which covers the five Davao provinces and the city, is currently reassessing the urban masterplan for the proposed Metro Davao area.
Davao City started exploring WTE as a waste management option about three years ago as the existing sanitary landfill nears full capacity.
The city government has already purchased a 10-hectare lot for the project site.
“Here in the city, we already crossed that bridge (use of WTE) long time ago when we purchased the property… the discussion now is still with the RDC… we are requesting DENR’s support on this matter,” the mayor said.
Meanwhile, the city is also looking at purchasing the property in the immediate vicinity of the existing landfill for expansion.
Non-profit environmental protection group Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) has expressed anew on social media its opposition to WTE.
IDIS Executive Director Mark Penalver said a more sustainable way of addressing the solid waste problem is ensuring strict implementation of existing policies, including the creation of materials recovery facilities and segregation at source.
IDIS and other environmental groups recently launched a signature campaign against the WTE project, which has been approved by the city council on second reading and will be included in the city’s 10-Year Solid Waste Management Plan. — Maya M. Padillo