by ayan c. mellejor and maya m. padillo
Mayor Sara Duterte, seven city officials and two representatives from an environment watchdog will travel to Japan next week to study the USD70 million Waste-to-Energy (WTE) project which is eyed to improve the city’s waste management.
This was announced by the mayor saying that they will be going to Japan upon the invitation of the Japa-nese firm in the City of Kitakyushu to observe its own WTE operation. It will be an all-expenses paid by the city government of Kitakyushu.
The Japanese firm, Nippon Steel, has offered to do the WTE facility which can accommodate about 600 metric tons daily. The project is eyed for a joint venture initiative between Nippon Steel, the city government and the Kitakyusho City.
Sara said the city will be a recipient of a grant from Japan for the imple-mentation of the WTE pro-ject. Sara wants the WTE project considering that the city’s landfill site at New Carmen is already in a critical stage.
She said she invited two representatives of the Ecowaste Coalition, which has expressed its opposition to the WTE because it’s reportedly a form of inci-neration. Incineration is not allowed under the Clean Air Act law.
EcoWaste Coalition is a network of community, church, school, environ-mental and health groups pursuing sustainable solu-tions to waste, climate change and chemical issues facing the Philip-pines and the world has called for the City Govern-ment of Davao to junk the waste to energy incine-ration proposal.
Earlier, City Planning chief Ivan Cortez said the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) is looking new areas in the north and southern part of the city that would measure about 15 hectares each. The site will be allotted for the landfill with 10 hectares and WTE with five hectares.
Councilor Marissa Abella backs the WTE as the other answer to the city’s garbage problem since the city is disposing of all garbage in the landfill.
Abella said CENRO is collecting 400 to 500 tons of garbage daily. She said the waste to energy will collect all residual waste and convert into energy that can be utilized by the households.