MEXICO, Pampanga — Citing the worsening impact of climate change and global warming, Climate Change Commissioner Albert Dela Cruz Jr. reiterated his call for a green transition from landfills to waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies in line with President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Romualdez Marcos Jr.’s advocacy to address the worsening climate change impact.
Speaking at the first-quarter meeting of the Association of Pampanga Environment and Natural Resources Officers (ENROs), or APEN at the Amber Trail Resort in San Pablo, Mexico, Pampanga, the climate official underscored the adverse effects of the continued use of landfills as a means of disposing the growing volume of waste materials and garbage collected in most urban centers and even in the countryside.
Commissioner Dela Cruz pointed out that the current situation with regards to the utilization of landfills show long-term harmful and irreversible effects on our environment because the process of collected waste dumped in them produce toxic chemicals that end up polluting our air and likewise seeps into the soil, causing the poisoning of our land and even our water resources.
“Poor solid waste management is still prevalent since open and controlled dumps are being used in our country. This poses great threats on our environment and public health, including the alteration of physical and chemical properties of the soil due to percolation of landfill gases (CO2 and CH4) and leachate from unsanitary landfills and open dumps even as we experience ‘objectionable’ odor emanating from our landfills,” the commissioner disclosed.
As of now, he added, waste facilities in the country are at full capacity but not all the TSD facilities are able to manage and process medical solid waste so most eventually end up in landfills which are already reaching and exceeding full capacity.
This is why, Dela Cruz rationalized, he is urging local government executives (LGEs) and other concerned officials of governments to seriously look into the proposal of the just transition of landfills to WtE technologies that provide the best solution to the nagging problem of health risks posed by the continued use of landfills and other similar management of solid waste and trash.