16 0 0 2 months ago 5 min to read

Pushing the framework for waste-to-energy technologies

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A bill introduced by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri aims to create a national energy strategy and regulatory framework for facilities using waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies. This legislation would solve issues with solid waste management and offer a different source of energy.

Zubiri observed in his Senate Bill (SB) 1746, also known as the “Garbage to Energy Act,” that as the nation develops, the population grows quickly along with greater advancements in our way of life, which raises the amount of waste produced.

According to the Environment and Management Bureau’s assessment, between 2022 and 2025, the nation is expected to produce 92 million tons of garbage.

“Unfortunately, the amount of household and domestic garbage we produce is constantly rising, and our solid waste disposal infrastructure is still not able to keep up. In his explanation, Zubiri stated that the purpose of this measure is to promote the development of environmentally sound innovations for the recovery, conservation, processing, treatment, and disposal of solid waste using WTE technologies.

The Senate leader claims that WTE employs a number of technologies to transform non-recyclable garbage into usable heat, electricity, or fuel through a number of processes.

By doing so, he continued, “not only would we be able to keep landfills from getting too full, but we could actually harvest usable energy from non-recyclable waste.”

The lack of available land in many local government units (LGUs), particularly in our island provinces or municipalities, makes it challenging for them to provide for suitable, hygienic landfills, Zubiri said. “The bill will also address this problem.

WTE facilities will function as both a facility for the production of energy and a facility for the management of solid waste under the proposed proposal.

The proposed measure will include safeguards to ensure that the innovation won’t compromise environmental or public health safety in order to protect the environment.

The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), local government units (LGUs), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Health (DOH), and their respective roles in the efficient implementation of this Act are mandated by SB 1746.

Additionally, it stipulates punishments for different violations of the law, such as suspension or expulsion from employment, as well as fines of up to PHP 2 million and jail terms of up to 6 years for LGU and government agency officials.

Individuals found in violation of this Act face fines of at least PHP1 million and a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

For the initial execution of this Act, a sum of PHP15 million for the DOE, PHP300 million for the DENR, PHP15 million for the DOH, and PHP27 million for the NSWMC shall be charged from their respective existing funds.

The Annual General Appropriations Act shall contain such sums as are required for the effective and efficient implementation of this Act.

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