EcoWaste Coalition Urges Waste Disposal Facilities and Surrounding Communities to Take Part in Earthquake Drill

environmental watchdog group urged waste disposal facilities and surrounding
communities to actively participate in the metro-wide earthquake drill this
coming Thursday.
“The participation of all sectors is essential to avoid loss of life, lessen damage
to property and reduce contamination of the environment due to earthquake-induced
shaking of the ground,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.  
“Landfills and other waste disposal sites and their host communities are not
exempt from the devastating effects of a strong quake and thus the need for
emergency readiness,” she said.
“We hope that disposal facilities for Metro Manila’s wastes, including those
located outside the metropolis, will take part in the MMDA-led earthquake drill
for better disaster preparedness,” she added.
Metro Manila’s wastes,  according to the
website of the National Solid Waste Management Commission.  are dumped in various sites such as the Payatas
landfill for Quezon City’s garbage; Navotas landfill, which receives waste from
Malabon, Manila and Navotas; and the Rizal Provincial Landfill in Rodriguez,
Rizal that serves  Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati,
Mandaluyong, Marikina,  Muntinlupa, Parañaque,Pasay,
Pasig, Pateros, San Juan and Taguig local government units (LGUs).
Other landfills in operation or under construction in adjacent LGUs include
those in Norzagaray, Obando and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan and in Rodriguez
and San Mateo, Rizal.
A study  by the Environmental Protection
Administration of Taiwan, which like the Philippines is located in a seismic
and typhoon belt,  states that  “natural disasters inflict damages on main
structures and peripheral engineering” of  landfills.
According to the Taiwan EPA’s analysis of damages associated with 921 quake incidents,
“earthquake magnitude 5 and over can damage landfill sites that are located in
a fault or its surrounding areas.”
“Depending on the extent of damage of storage
facilities (retaining walls), collapse, crack and incline of the foundation, retaining
walls can get washed out, affecting the safety and leading to secondary
pollutions,” the study said.
“Our analysis clearly indicates that for landfill sites struck by disasters,
damages are accumulative and chain reactive; moreover, the potential hazard
factors can still exist after the landfill sites are recovered,” the study
pointed out.