Davao City’s P300 million Sanitary Landfill may face a premature death, with the local government poised to ink a zero-waste contract with a German firm.
Only 2-years old with a 15-year lifespan, the 3.8 hectare modern landfill could outlive its purpose of taking in the city’s estimated garbage volume of more than 500 metric tons a day.
The German firm Herhof has proposed construction of an ultra-modern P1 billion waste-to-energy plant to handle garbage churned out by the city’s 1.4 million population.
The Herhof proposal would leave nothing to dump into the landfill including residual wastes that would be pro
cessed and exported as pelletized ‘green coal” to foreign buyers.
The local government would not spend a single centavo in the project to be built under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT). Herholf would eecoup its investment from export sale of the pelletized “green coal” and other end-products from the processed garbage, and from electricity generated by the plant that would be sold to the local power provider Davao Light and Power Company or the National Power Corporation.
The Sanitary Landfill could be closed down in five years when the Herhof plant would already be in place, said Joseph Dominic Felizarta, chief of the City Environment Office (City ENRO) and member of the City Ecological Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB), which has recommended the Herhof proposal.
Mayor Sara Duterte and five members of the Davao City Council would visit Germany in October to observe a Herhof zero-waste plant operation there. The local legislative body has already approved a resolution granting authority to Mayor Duterte to negotiate terms and conditions of the contract with the German firm.
We will convert the Sanitary Landfill into an eco-park when it becomes idle, said Felizarta, who enumerated benefits that the city government would derived from the Herholf contract.
We will save about P20 million annually in maintaining the laandfill, he said.
Felizarta said that on top of the savings on maintenance, the city government would earn about P100 annually from local taxes to be paid by Herhof and from the two percent share of the city government from the venture.
The Sanitary in New Carmen, Tugbok district about 30 kilometers from downtown was completed in 2009 as the local government rushed up its compliance to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. RA 9003 mandated local government units to depart from open dumpsites to sanitary landfills.
The Sanitary Landfill built on an area that has served as an open dumpsite for ten years, went into full operation in December of 2010.