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Landfill rejects rotting chickens

Dump operator says it needs DA clearance that dead birds free from avian flu
/ 11:02 PM August 29, 2017
MCWMC containerized system

Part of the MCWMC containerized system of disposal (Photo from the MCWMC website)

Published: 8:51 p.m., Aug. 28, 2017 | Updated: 11:02 p.m., Aug. 29, 2017

A landfill operator in Tarlac province has turned back a huge bin of garbage from Cabanatuan City after learning that it contained dead chickens.

Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. (MCWMC) said it wanted clearance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) that the chickens were not infected with avian flu before workers could accept the garbage in the 100-hectare landfill at Barangay Kalangitan in Capas town in Tarlac.


The chickens were found in a huge container carried by
one of two garbage trucks
that hauled household wastes from Cabanatuan City to Capas, according to Rufo Colayco, MCWMC president.

He said MCWMC has not accepted culled birds from avian flu-hit areas.

The garbage truck was turned over by the Capas government to the police at the border of Zaragoza town in Nueva Ecija province on Monday night.

Roy Valentos, who operates one of the largest chicken dressing plants in Cabanatuan, said he disposed of the chickens, which were part of his unsold products. He said the chickens were certified clean by the National Meat Inspection Service.

Roy Abaya, DA Central Luzon director, also said the chickens in the trash bin were not infected with avian flu, citing a check made by the Nueva Ecija provincial disaster risk reduction and management office.

On Tuesday, Nueva Ecija Gov. Czarina Umali and Mayor Lovella Belmonte of Zaragoza town agreed to bury the contents of the garbage truck in that town rather than burn these or ship these back to Cabanatuan.

But Colayco said the truck’s contents were still being held by the Zaragoza government after the owner of the private land refused to have the garbage buried there.

“As the day wears on, the MCWMC truck stands to spend another night on the Zaragoza road. It’s ridiculous. The truck cannot return to Capas because the Tarlac provincial government has imposed a ban on all trucks carrying cargo from Nueva Ecija,” he said.


Umali asked the Bureau of Animal Industry and the Office of Civil Defense to conduct new tests to determine how the chickens in the garbage bin had died. But experts who went to Zaragoza said the chickens were rotting and could no longer be tested.

Valentos said he dumped the chickens when the avian flu scare caused sales to drop by as much as 80 percent.

“The drop in demand affected all my chickens in storage. I needed to dispose of them because the chickens would not have lasted long in the freezers. People did not buy chickens,” he told Eugene Mintu, head of the Cabanatuan City disaster risk reduction and management office.

Valentos also said he wanted to give the chickens away but people would not take them after government announced that bird flu affected poultry farms in Jaen and San Isidro towns, both in Nueva Ecija.

Mintu said Valentos’ plant is contracted to take in all broiler deliveries from poultry farms regardless of market demand.

The bird flu outbreak struck San Luis town in Pampanga early this month but President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the crisis may be over after more than 500,000 infected chickens, quails and ducks were destroyed. —Reports from Tonette Orejas, Anselmo Roque, and Armand Galang  /atm

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TAGS: avian flu, Bird flu, dressed chicken disposal, MCWMC, Metro Clark Waste Management Corp.
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