NORZAGARAY, BULACAN—What the mayor of this town failed to do, an act of nature did—close a landfill servicing, at least 15 towns in Bulacan province.
A landslide, caused by heavy rains, let loose boulders and debris on a road leading to the landfill, effectively cutting access for trucks hauling garbage to the site from the towns of Santa Maria, Angat, Dona Remedios Trinidad, San Miguel, Marilao, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Bulakan, Bustos, Plaridel, Baliwag, Pulilan and Balagtas.
The towns had been sending their trash to the Wacuman Sanitary Landfill in Norzagaray, which the firm operating it kept open despite an order by Norzagaray Mayor Alfredo Germar to shut it down.
Until the landslide came, preventing trucks of garbage from the Bulacan city of Malolos and the town of San Ildefonso from entering the landfill, too.
Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr., head of the League of Municipalities of Bulacan, said the trash-laden towns may start sending their garbage instead to a Clark landfill in Pampanga province. He did not say how many tons of Bulacan garbage needed to be rerouted to Pampanga.
In fhe absence of answers on why their garbage remained uncollected, many residents have turned to social media to air grievances. Some blamed the loss of their candidates for the mess.
The landfill and its operator are also dealing with legal problems.
Germar ordered the landfill shut down for operating without a business permit, according to Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado.
For the last 11 years, Wacuman. the company that operates the landfill, has been disputing ownership of the dump site with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which has laid claim to the land.
Alvarado said Wacuman had lost in a petition in court seeking to stop the enforcement of Mayor Germar’s order to close the landfill.
But on Saturday (June 8), Noel Lim, Wacuman chief operating officer, said the dispute with the BSP had been resolved,and the firm had continued operating in spite of Germar’s order.
Lim said Wacuman had returned to court to seek an injunction against Germar’s order. The court has scheduled a July 29
hearing. CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE