City to seek reconsideration on ERS closure order

BAGUIO CITY – Outgoing Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored the local government will have to seek reconsideration from the environment department on the temporary closure order it issued against the continued operation of the two Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines that are converting the city’s biodegradable waste to compost fertilizer.

The city chief executive claimed that the recent visit of ranking environment officials to the Irisan dumpsite where the ERS machines are based was not coordinated with him so that he could have responded to the queries of the concerned officials on the continuous operation of the multi-million machines that has helped the reduce the volume of waste being hauled out by the city to the Urdaneta-based sanitary landfill.

“We will receive the cease and desist order but we will file the necessary motion for reconsideration or whatever appropriate remedy because it is unfair for them to make unnecessary conclusions on a serious matter which the local government had been solely finding solutions over the past several years,” Domogan stressed.

He pointed out that the local government continues to work out the improvement of the operation of the ERS machines to ensure its efficiency in converting the biodegradable waste to compost fertilizer by prioritizing the purchase of the needed pieces to replace the dilapidated ones, aside from entering into an agreement with a proven private company that had been in the business of producing compost fertilizer from garbage.

According to him, the operation of the ERS machines was permitted by the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) which had been the local government’s partner in trying to find a permanent solution to the city’s solid waste disposal problem considering that the hauling of the generated waste to the nearest landfill in Urdaneta city, Pangasinan has been very expensive considering its effect to the city’s financial standing.

Domogan asserted that whatever interventions done by the local government to ensure the continuous operation of the ERS machines were done in consultation with the EMB-CAR experts who had been providing continuous technical assistance to the local government personnel in ensuring the uninterrupted operation of the machines to help lessen the volume of garbage being hauled out of the city and reduce the taxpayer’s money being spent for hauling out garbage to Urdaneta.

He challenged the environment department not to simply issue a cease and desist order but also to come out with doable recommendations and provide the needed timetable for the local government to comply with such recommendations so as not to create animosity among the residents who are now strictly complying with the segregation of waste at source.

Earlier, the local government entered into a memorandum of agreement with Report Innovations to operate the 2 ERS machines situated at the former Irisan open dumpsite to ensure the proper conversion of the generated biodegradable waste to compost fertilizer and for the latter to pay the city the corresponding amount for every sack of compost fertilizer that it will produce.

The 2 ERS machines was purchased by the local government in 2011 primarily to convert the city’s biodegradable waste to compost fertilizer to be sold to the farmers both in the lowlands and highlands who want to patronize the same./Dexter A. See