DENR shuts down Calamba sanitary landfill

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Department of Environment and Natural Resources () closed down a sanitary landfill in Calamba City in Laguna for not complying with its environmental compliance certificate’s (ECC) terms and conditions.

Authorities served the cease and desist order signed by DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Acting Director William Cuñado on the 6.6-hectare sanitary landfill facility (SLF). S.B. Hain Enterprises and General Services Inc. at Barangay Kay-Anloga operates the said landfill.

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According to the EMB inspectors, the SLF violated nine of the 26 conditions in its ECC after the facility was inspected on July 13.

The sanitary landfill is operating as a Category 4 SLF, which highest category and biggest in terms of capacity. It could accommodate up to 250 metric tons of residual waste per day.

It was allowed to put up to five units of landfill cells connected to a treatment pond and leachate collection.

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However, the EMB found out that the Calamba SLF did not install functioning drainage and leachate treatment facility.

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They also discovered the SLF’s treated liquid waste has no monitoring report to ensure compliance with DENR regulations.

The landfill also lacks the required synthetic material called “high-density polyethylene” that would prevent leachate from seeping through the soil and prevent groundwater contamination.

The EMB also reported that the landfill’s waste materials “were exposed and not covered,” violating the ECC’s Condition No.22. The provision requires such a facility to cover the waste with at least six inches of soil at the end of each working day.

“We cannot allow the landfill and its operator to continuously harm the environment.  The Calamba SLF will remain closed until violations are corrected,” DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda said.

The Calamba landfill started as a Category 1 SLF and issued with an ECC on July 30, 2018. It covered an area of 1.2 hectares at the same site but accommodated a lower daily maximum waste input of 15 metric tons.

It was given upgraded to Category 4 and was given a new ECC on November 18, 2019.

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