Group opposes QC garbage incinerator plan

By Lilybeth Ison

March 13, 2019, 9:10 pm

MANILA -- An environmental group on Wednesday opposed the plan of the Quezon City government to put up a waste-to-energy facility with the Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Covanta Energy, LLC and the Macquarie Group, Ltd.

In a statement, No Burn Pilipinas (NBP) denounced the Quezon City government and Mayor Herbert Bautista for allegedly "advancing the deadly and harmful project without hearing the concerns of stakeholders and civil society organizations".

“We ask the office of Mayor Bautista to respond to NBP’s position paper submitted in January 2019 before including the proposal in their council agenda. As of February, the City Council has been meaning to create an ordinance allowing the office of the Mayor to proceed with the Public-Private Partnership and declaring MPIC (Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Covanta Energy, LLC and the Macquarie Group, Ltd.) et al. as the sole and original proponent of the project," it said.

Once completed, the proposed waste-to-energy project, sponsored by Councilors Franz Pumaren, Donato Matias, Elizabeth Delarmente, and Godofredo Liban, can process and convert up to 3,000 metric tons of municipal solid waste per day into 42 megawatts of renewable energy. Concession period is for 35 years.

Glenn Ymata, NBP senior campaign manager, said the Quezon City government is bent on pursuing the project despite the cry of local residents, waste-pickers, and environmental groups to stop the waste-to-energy facility due to potential health and environmental hazards.

Ymata said the proposed incinerator will use fire grates to ensure waste combustion which will cause emissions of toxic and hazardous cancer-causing pollutants like dioxins and furans -- a clear violation of the Clean Air Act and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

In seeking the scrapping of the project, NBP said Bautista should carefully study the cost-benefit analysis of the waste-to-energy facility, and to go beyond "surface-level convenience" in planning for better solid waste management approaches.

Earlier, the MPIC and its consortium partners announced that it is hoping to get the green light for its waste-to-energy project in Quezon City within the first quarter of 2019. (PNA)