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Environmentalists frown on MMDA's incinerator proposal.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)'s idea to use incinerators to solve the garbage problems in Metro Manila does not with well with green groups, citing that the technology violates the law and an environmental and health risk.

In a statement, zero waste and chemical safety advocates belonging to the EcoWaste Coalition, Mother Earth Foundation and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives said that "waste incineration is a way of cutting corners and taking an easy, not to mention highly toxic and expensive, way out of our waste problems."

"We reject MMDA's multi-billion peso quick fix 'solution' that belittles and violates Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which mandates ecological solid waste management 'excluding incineration' (Section 2, d)," said Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition.

Lucero maintained that "the real solution to our garbage woes is the full enforcement of RA 9003," stressing that "only a small fraction of the generated wastes would be left for disposal if solid wastes are managed according to law."

"No incinerator would thrive if the R.A. 9003 is genuinely enforced," Lucero noted.

The groups challenged the MMDA chief to drop his plans on incineration and instead pursue a strict Metro Manila-wide implementation of RA 9003 to ecologically deal with the Metro's garbage crisis.

Tolentino earlier pushed for waste-to-energy incineration technology to eradicate perennial frequent floodwater and garbage problems in Metro Manila.

Tolentino raised the idea patterned from the garbage incineration being implemented in Sweden.

"In Sweden, since 1960s they are making use of incineration, no garbage, no flooding," said Tolentino.

Tolentino recognized that while certain provisions under Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 regulates the use of incinerators, there are "smokeless" incinerators that do not harm the environment.

According to Tolentino, the Vice Mayors League of Metro Manila and the Metro Manila Council have expressed support calling for the use of incinerators to resolve garbage problems in Metro Manila.

Citing that the idea is worth revisiting, Tolentino said incineration is the "only way, to clear garage from the waterways and household. If we become successful, garbage outside Metro Manila and neighboring areas like Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite can be accommodated. Imagine a clog-free San Juan River, free of trash Roxas Boulevard."

He said the use of incinerators compliment the MMDA's pumping stations that are designed to pump water but due to garbage problems, they end up pumping garbage, plastics or dead animals.

Tolentino recognized that there are provisions under Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 regulates the use of incinerators, there are "smokeless" incinerators that do not harm the environment.

"The incinerators must, of course, conform to strict universal emission standards and the Clean Air Act," Tolentino said.

Should it be approved, Tolentino said the Metro Manila needs four incinerators, worth whopping P7 billion each, to eradicate perennial frequent floodwater and garbage problems in Metro Manila.

Tolentino noted that this kind of technology would benefit Metro Manila that produces 8,000 tons of garbage daily.

"We can have four for sections of Metro Manila: north, Metro manila south, east, west, flooding woes can be resolved," he said.

In a 2002 ruling, the Supreme Court said the Clean Air Act "does not absolutely prohibit incineration as a mode of waste disposal, (but) only those burning processes which emit poisonous and toxic fumes are banned."

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Title Annotation:Metro
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Sep 24, 2014
Words:570
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