The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is targeting to establish by 2022 around 300 more sanitary landfills (SLFs) nationwide through a public-private partnership in a bid to further improve the country’s management of solid waste.

“Ambitious as it may seem to be as a target, but we shall aim to establish 300 SLFs by the end of 2022,” said DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGUs) Concerns Benny D. Antiporda.

Antiporda noted that SLF remains the primary long-term method of solid waste disposal allowed under Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The DENR official made the statement during the hybrid consultation meeting with SLF operators, which combined face-to-face and teleconferencing, held last December 28.

It was the second of a series of meetings, which Antiporda said was the first time in the history of the DENR that the SLF operators were gathered together to ensure their commitment to helping LGUs and the national government address the challenges of solid waste management.

A total of 21 SLF operators were present during the meeting, either personal or via Zoom. The meeting was aimed at closer collaboration among SLF operators, LGUs and the DENR, through the National Solid Waste Management Commission, where Antiporda sits as alternate of Environment Secretary and NSWMC Chair Roy A. Cimatu.

Among those in attendance were representatives from Phileco, Tamagan SLF of Lepanto Consolidated Company, WasteCon Inc., Urdaneta Solid Waste Management, Cagayan Economic Zone Sanitary Landfill, Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation, Mega Pacific Landfill Resource Services Corp., and IPM Holdings.

Also present were representatives from Integrated Solid Waste Management Inc., Greenleap Sanitary Landfill/New Sanitary Landfill, SB Hain Enterprise/Severino B. Hain, Pilotage Trading and Construction Inc., TAYSAN SLF, Gen Tech SLF, JORMS Trading Corporation, Coral Bay Nickel Corporation, Iwa Besu Solid Waste Processing Facility project/Iwa Besu Corp., Eco’s Sanitary Landfill and Waste Management Corp., San Rafael Moreno SLF, ARN Central Waste Management Inc., and Asian Energy Systems Inc.

There are currently 189 SLFs in operation servicing 399 LGUs across the country.

However, Antiporda lamented that the number of SLFs remains small 20 years after RA 9003 took effect.

During the consultation meeting, Antiporda called on the SLF operators to look into the viability of offering their facilities to LGUs with illegal dumpsites in anticipation of an aggressive campaign by the DENR to close these down starting January 2021.

The first meeting was held on December 17 with seven SLF operators present, namely: International Solid Waste Integrated Management Specialist Inc., Iwa Besu Corp., IPM Holdings, Wastecon Inc., Phil Ecology Systems Corp., S.B. Hain Enterprises and General Services Inc., and Urdaneta Solid Waste Management.

In that meeting, Antiporda urged SLF operators to “set aside whatever differences they have and close ranks as an association or coalition.”

“This is the first time operators will unite and have a voice when engaging the DENR and the public sector in discussions geared towards resolving challenges faced by the solid waste management sector,” Antiporda said.

The next meeting will be held in January 2021. ###