ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 8 April) – The city government is set to convert into an ecological part (ecopark) this city’s controlled dumpsite in Barangay Lumbangan as it is being closed to give way to the newly opened P75-million sanitary landfill facility.
The dumpsite in Barangay Lumbangan is situated almost nine kilometers east of city hall, while the new sanitary landfill is situated in Barangay Salaan, six kilometers farther east.
Gerry Pollisco, supervising environmental management specialist at the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR), said the Lumbangan dumpsite, once completely closed, shall be converted into an ecopark as part of the rehabilitation plan and is mandated by law.
An ecopark is a public green area where there is abundance of trees, plants and grass, with various facilities for people to enjoy during their leisure hours.
However, Pollisco said the material recovery facility (MRF) in the Lumbangan dumpsite will remain for sorting of recyclable materials and its residuals being disposed at the sanitary landfill.
He said initial closure activities at Lumbangan began in December 2014 based on the Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) for the said facility.
Pollisco said the closure improvement activities include slope stabilization to prevent erosion hazards, capping, drainage system, lining and gas vents and numerous others.
Engr. Reynaldo Gonzales, OCENR head, said the city government has allocated P10 million to undertake improvements before completely closing the dumpsite and in preparation for conversion into an ecopark.
Pollisco said also included is the social preparation of affected waste pickers or scavengers and possible assistance.
He said the OCENR will also step up monitoring of the Lumbangan area to prevent illegal dumping activities and will also venture into the installation of monitoring wells and implementation of security measures to prevent unauthorized access to the closed site.