Cenro asked to explain 'leachate' spill in Pangi River

THE Davao City Council will request representatives from Davao City Environment and National Resources Office (Cenro) to attend the session next week to explain the spillage of garbage juice or leachate from New Carmen sanitary landfill to the creek that leads to Matina Pangi River.

Majority Floor Leader Bernard Al-ag on Tuesday, November 14, directed the City Council secretary to invite (Cenro) and Department of Environment Natural Resources (DENR) to discuss the problem.

"We have received reports that there is an occurrence of a spillage of leachate, or juice from our garbage to our river and this is not only the concern of the Barangay New Carmen, this is the concern of the city. This leachate will go to our river specifically to Matina Pangi River, and it will go to the sea, this is a cause of concern of all Dabawenyos," Al-ag said.

He said that long term solution of the problem is a P100 million budget for the relocation of the sanitary landfill was already approved by the Council in the previous session incorporated with the Supplemental Budget 2.

The request for invitation is to ask the plans of Cenro and EMB in addressing the problem.

Last Friday in a press conference, Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) chief Anulfu Alvarez said that they already conducted inspection at the landfill in August and they noticed that the volume of the waste dumped there have increased, which resulted to the overflowing of leachate or the liquid that drains or 'leaches' from a landfill in the water waste treatment facility.

Alvarez then suggested that there should be proper drainage directed to the waste water treatment facility but the liquid just goes anywhere from the dump.

It was not revealed since when the leachate has been allowed to flow out freely, untreated.

Davao City Environment and Natural Resources Office Office-in-charge Engr. Marivic Reyes, in a media interview, on Tuesday, November 14, said that since Monday their personnel were there to dig a ditch so that the leachate from the garbage will flow to the filtration pond then to the impounding pond that contained the treated water which will be recirculated back to the cell, or the landfill.

She said that the reported leachate is from the garbage outside the cell or the landfill.

"The leachate that goes out to the creek come from the garbage thrown outside the cell because the landfill is already full. There is supposedly a canal in the cell where the leachate must flow. This is the reason why we are now making ditch in the area)," she said.

She added that they started making the ditch last Monday.

Reyes said that the heavy downpour also contributed to the spillage.

She said that they are conducting benching from garbage for the filtration process. She added that they use carbon, limestone and sand to filter the leachate.

After the process, the leachate that reaches the impounding pond will be pumped out by a submersible pump back to the cell. They also placed geo-synthetic liner so that the leachate will not escape from the cell.

She said that the leachate is not meant to escape from the cell, but it cannot be avoided since the landfill is already full.

Reyes said that they are still finding the site or location for another landfill, they are rehabilitating the landfill to expand the lifespan up to two and the half years depending on the operation.

Reyes said that currently, the landfill receives 600-700 tons daily, up from 300 to 400 tons of garbage the city collected when the dumpsite was opened way back in 2006.