Mounting trash woes fuel waste-to-energy bid

MANILA -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) may issue this year an administrative order covering guidelines for proposed waste-to-energy (WtE) projects nationwide.

WtE is a waste management option involving the process of converting waste into usable energy.

DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said the guidelines would help DENR assess WtE project proposals to ensure compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or Republic Act 9003 and other relevant regulations.

"Even if project proponents adapt WtE technologies, their proposals must still comply with such regulations," he said Tuesday in a media briefing in Metro Manila.

Aside from generating energy, WtE helps reduce the volume of waste for disposal.

The extent of waste generation nationwide highlights the need for management options like WtE, Leones noted.

"The country already generates about 40 tons of waste daily," he said.

The DENR considers WtE a win-win solution to the country's waste problem.

Leones earlier said WtE is also the "smart alternative" to the traditional sanitary landfill, a waste disposal method allowed under RA 9003.

"Our landfills can only hold so much trash, so we need to look for other ways of disposing of garbage. WtE is a smart alternative with less environmental impact," he said.

Leones said the DENR was already drafting the proposed WtE guidelines and consulting civil society groups.

While drafting the WtE guidelines, Leones said the DENR continues looking into other environment-friendly technologies that would help the country address its waste problem.

The DENR was also exploring ways of linking cash-strapped local government units (LGUs) to sources that could provide funds for local waste management interventions, he added.

"LGUs are clamoring for assistance due to increasing volumes of garbage generated daily," he said.

He said the DENR was prepared to provide LGUs technical assistance on waste management. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency