FROM DUMPSITE TO ECOPARK. Officials of Dagupan City and the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the rehabilitation and re-engineering project of the old city dumpsite on Nov. 4, 2022. The project aims to totally close the dumpsite and turn it into an eco-tourism park. (Photo courtesy of Dagupan City Information Office)

DAGUPAN CITY – The city government here has broken ground for the rehabilitation of the Tondaligan Ferdinand old dumpsite into an ecotourism park.

Mayor Belen Fernandez said the environmental impacts, such as leachate seepage on groundwater, will be seriously addressed even as plans to convert the open space for recreation and other redevelopment potentials have been laid out through the Tondaligan Ferdinand Rehabilitation and Re-Engineering Project.

“(The project) moreover complements the long-term vision for One Bonuan composed of Barangays Bonuan Guest, Bonuan Binloc, and Bonuan Boquig that aims for an enhanced tourism, trade and commerce clean and safe environment, livelihood and employment, among many others,” she said in a statement Monday.

Fernandez said the long-delayed project involves a solid partnership with Sure Global Waste to Worth Innovations (W2WI) Facility worth a whopping US$11 million, and will be established at no cost to the city government.

“Touted to serve as a long-term solution to the decades-long waste problem in the city, the W2WI will be implemented in partnership with its project proponent Arn Central Development Corporation. The W2WI facility can load up 30 tons of garbage every day and can convert plastic wastes into 6,000 liters of diesel fuel and food wastes into 4,000 kilograms of methane gas,” she added.

Fernandez said the dumpsite closure is imperative for health and safety concerns, liability, and its impact on the environment.

“The present site location is no longer acceptable and neither horizontal nor vertical expansion is not possible. We have an alternative site for this waste-to-energy project that meets higher standards where we can avoid liability from environmental, health and safety, and financial losses associated with the illegal dumpsite,” she said.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) regional director engineer Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe said the waste problem should not be treated lightly as it can lead to more lingering consequences.

“The rehabilitation and re-engineering project can inspire other local government units to showcase environment cleanup and promote effective solid waste management,” said DENR-EMB national director engineer William Cuñado during the groundbreaking ceremony last week.

The project was formally launched on Nov. 4 at the old Tondaligan Ferdinand dumpsite facility in Bonuan Gueset. (PNA)