Baguio to convert former dumpsite into eco-park

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The city government of Baguio is starting to convert the closed 60-year-old open dump facility to an ecological park, transforming its location in Barangay Irisan to a forest park.

Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong said: On “our initial estimate, we will be able to turn this to an eco-park by 2021 but by the rate things are going, we hope that it will already be done by the fourth quarter of 2020.”

The Environment Recycling System (ERS) or the city’s bio-composting facility was constructed at the former Irisan dumpsite.

Magalong said there is already a layout of the plan of the Irisan site to convert it to a park.

Around PHP15 million has been allotted by the city government for the project, which was approved during a recent Executive-Legislative planning session.

Magalong said the vision is to convert the area similar to the Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, which used to be a dump facility but converted to a park.

“It will be fixed, cleaned and maintained and will not in any way look like a dump area. The foul smell that used to be irritating to the nostrils is also slowly being addressed with the application of an inoculant,” Magalong said.

There will be no sun-drying of compost and what will come out will be composted in sacks, ready for transport to the buyers.

Rapport Innovations, the consultant company that operates the ERS, is giving the city PHP3 per kilo of compost produced.

“It will not just save the city of the annual PHP18 million expense to operate the nine-year-old facility but will also earn from the sale of compost fertilizer,” Magalong said.

“We are now producing compost. The ERS is operating well after its rehabilitation. The compost we make is of good quality and is 90 percent efficient based on the study conducted by the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority,” Magalong said.

City General Services Office (GSO) chief Eugene Buyucan said the park will be culturally-inspired having a “dap-ay” and will be planted with bougainvillea to create a scenic view.

There will be several flowering plants, “eugenia” tree, which has leaves that have different colors, and bamboos as an added feature to prevent soil erosion, Buyucan said.

“Bamboos have been proven (for) good soil retention, but we need to identify what species are best grown in the area,” Buyucan said.

The dap-ay is part of the region’s culture where old people meet to discuss and resolve community or tribe issues.

Once completed, Buyucan said the people in the area can enjoy a good view of the sunset in La Union while enjoying a park lined with plants and flowers.

Buyucan said at present, the city produces at least 12 tons of compost fertilizer daily from the 50 tons of biodegradable waste collected mostly at the city market. The production can even go higher, especially with food waste coming in.(Liza Agoot, Philippine News Agency)

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