Pro-environment groups called on Mayor Sara Duterte of Davao City this week to abandon a waste-to-energy incineration project and uphold the “people’s right to a healthy environment.”
“The mayor could easily reject the project if she wants to and listen to the science of ecological waste management and to the appeal of the people,” said Jill Banta, regional coordinator of Plastic-Free Pilipinas Project.
She said zero waste in the city is not impossible if the city government would choose to support and replicate the efforts of Purok Onse in Tacunan village.
Banta said residents in the village were able to reduce the monthly volume of waste sent to the landfill by 3,000 kgs, after only seven months of implementing Zero Waste solutions.
She said residents and village officials worked together to implement the “scheduled collection of segregated waste, door-to-door collection of food waste, weekend recyclables deposit, and sari-sari store refilling stations.”
Early this month, Duterte said the city government is determined to continue its 2.5-billion-peso Waste-to-Energy project.
“For us here in the City Government of Davao, we already crossed that bridge a long time ago when we purchased the property for the WTE plant,” said Duterte.
The group EcoWaste Coalition said the proposed WTE facility “is expensive, yet produces minimal energy compared to genuine renewable energy resources.”
The group said the project will only force Davao City to produce more waste to meet the requirement that the WTE facility needs.
The proposed facility in Davao City requires a minimum of 600 tons of waste per day but the city only generates about 180 tons, according to the group.
Data from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, however, showed that the city generated about 900 tons of garbage per day in 2019.
About 600 tons went to the sanitary landfill while 300 tons went to recycling facilities.