The city of Samal, famous for its white-sand and powdery beaches, plans to build a multimillion-peso eco-park in an 11-hectare property that would also host the island’s very first sanitary landfill. The plan is to build both the landfill and the eco-park amid lush trees and a picturesque landscape.
"We can start this next year. Hopefully, we can be exempted from the election ban," Samal City administrator Cleto B. Gales Jr. said in an interview. The island, which used to have controlled dumping in a two-hectare property that has since been abandoned, sought assistance from the USAID-funded EcoGov2 program for the design of the sanitary landfill.
Mr. Gales said the island’s inhabitants generate about 11 metric tons of solid waste a day, with about 25% of that volume for recycling. The island’s 46 villages are already practicing re-use at source as part of the local government’s green program. "Only about 5% of our waste is residual that will be eventually put at the sanitary landfill," he said. The sanitary landfill will first occupy a third of the eco-park in the first phase and progressively expand.
The landfill will then be dotted with fruit trees, flowers and benches to mimic the design of a public park. The trees, he said, will help filter whatever odor will emanate from the landfill. Another portion of the eco-park will be allocated for composting to fertilize the trees and flowers surrounding the park.
Ferdinand S. Esguerra, EcoGov2 regional coordinator, said the design of the sanitary landfill, which is placed under category 2, will cost about P4 million for the first phase. Category 2 is designed to accommodate 75 tons of residual waste a day.
Category 1 and 2 landfills, he said, can be operated using clay as lining to prevent leachate, which can be toxic, from seeping to water bodies. Higher categories of landfills, like what Davao City is constructing, use expensive plastics as lining.
"All the leachates will pass through the tubes and pipes going to the pond where they will be treated before they are released," Mr. Esguerra said. EcoGov is also helping the local government prepare its environmental impact assessment and environmental compliance certificate for the landfill.