The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has shut down a sanitary landfill in Calamba City in Laguna province for failure of its operator to comply with the terms and conditions of its environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

A cease and desist order (CDO) issued by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) was served last July 24 on the 6.6-hectare sanitary landfill facility (SLF) operated by S.B. Hain Enterprises and General Services Inc. at Barangay Kay-Anlog.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda said the CDO was issued against the SLF due to “numerous violations of the terms and conditions of its ECC granted by the EMB.”

“We cannot allow the landfill and its operator to continuously harm the environment. The Calamba SLF will remain closed until violations are corrected,” Antiporda stressed.

The CDO, signed by Acting EMB Director William Cuñado, was based on the report submitted by a team of EMB inspectors that found the SLF to have violated 9 out of 26 conditions in its ECC following an inspection of the facility last July 13.

The Calamba facility is operating as a Category 4 SLF, the highest category sanitary landfill and biggest in terms of capacity, allowing it to accommodate residual waste of less than or equal to 250 metric tons per day.

As such, it is permitted to put up to 5 units of landfill cells connected to a leachate collection and treatment pond.

However, the EMB discovered that the Calamba SLF did not install a working drainage and leachate treatment facility.

The EMB likewise noted the absence of monitoring report of the SLF’s treated liquid waste to ensure its compliance with DENR effluent standards.

It also discovered that the landfill area was not lined with the required synthetic material called “high-density polyethylene,” which would have helped keep leachate from seeping through the soil and prevent groundwater contamination.

At the same time, the EMB observed that waste materials “were exposed and not covered,” a violation of the ECC’s Condition No. 22 which requires covering of at least six inches of soil “applied over the exposed waste at the end of each working day.”

The Calamba facility started as a Category 1 SLF with the issuance of its ECC on July 30, 2018, covering an area of 1.2 hectares at the same site but with a lower daily maximum waste input of 15 metric tons.

It was later upgraded to Category 4 with more stringent conditions in its new ECC issued on November 18, 2019. #