Photo courtesy of the Sustainable Davao Movement (SDM)

MANILA, Philippines — Environmental advocates belonging to the Sustainable Davao Movement (SDM) raised concerns anew about the planned waste-to-energy (WTE) project in Davao City in time for the global climate strike on Friday (Sept. 24).

In a statement, the SDM said that WTE “will only worsen the climate crisis” as it burns plastic and produces a high amount of greenhouse gas and toxic emissions.

“We are calling for the local government to address the waste crisis through zero-waste systems such as [instituting] a single-use plastic ban, reuse and refill systems, waste reduction and segregation at source, productive biodegradable waste management, and community support for proper implementation of ecological solid waste management,” the SDM said.

Jill Banta, the Mindanao coordinator of the Plastic-Free Pilipinas project, said the government should, instead, invest in truly renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, wind, and geothermal.

The Davao City government hoped to build a WTE incineration facility in a 10-hectare site in Biao Escuela village of Tugbok District through a grant from the Japanese government.

The planned facility is expected to process 600 tons of plastic waste daily.

Environmental groups have asked the local government to scrap the project.

“The best way to reduce greenhouse gas from waste is through waste avoidance. WTE does not promote waste avoidance, but instead encourages further waste generation to meet the daily waste volume

quota required by the contractor,” Banta explained.

Ryan D. Rosauro, Inquirer Mindanao

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