Surigao City, which belongs to the Caraga region, the second poorest region in the Philippines in 2007, is bidding to become the country’s model for solid waste management through its P45 million-worth waste treatment facility, the first in Mindanao.
Maintaining and operating the landfill will cost about P7.5 million per year, which will be funded by garbage fees. Casurra said they will be charging Surigao City residents P25 garbage fees starting this year, and those from other local governments that would soon send their garbage to the landfill.
Casurra said Surigao City residents could also earn extra either as collectors of some 21-ton daily garbage that would be dumped on a conveyor that leads to the landfill, or from pulling out free recyclable trash that could be sold.
A P150 million grant from the Swedish government provided the feasibility studies and engineering, while the Landbank of the Philippines provided the P45 million to fund the facility. Construction started in 2005.
The facility sits atop a mountain in Barangay Looc, in the outskirts of the city. It replaces the city’s previous dumpsite, which was near a swamp, thus considered not ideal. The landfill has a Material Recovery Facility, which will treat the recyclables, and a leachate collector, which will extract and treat liquids from the garbage. Toxins will be treated before they are pumped out to the creeks.