Trees and greenery are rising from a patch of land that was once covered with trash in Barangay Payatas in Quezon City, thanks to an ongoing tree-planting project by the local government.
On the eve of the World Earth Day celebrations last Saturday, a group of employees from the Quezon City government, the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Manila Water Co. planted more than a hundred bignay trees in the notorious dumpsite.
The activity organized by the QC Environment Protection and Waste Management Department last Friday, April 21 was meant to highlight the dramatic transformation of what was once a symbol of despair into a land of hope, the Quezon City government said in a statement.
“You have seen how Payatas has transformed, compared with 10 years ago when it was just a big garbage dump. But look at the transformation. In addition, we are also moving towards low carbon and resilient sanitary landfill. This landfill is a product of series technical and scientific studies. We would like to assure the public that this is safe and operated in accordance with existing environmental laws, whether national or local. In fact, it has a permit from DENR (Department of Environment and National Resources),” Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) head Frederika Rentoy said.
The tree-planting project is a partnership between the Quezon City-Task Force Manila Bay and Manila Water Company, Inc.
The EPWMD said that the waste diversion programs of the city at Payatas Landfill Area have already saved 226,931.73 trees as of 2015.
In Payatas Landfill, 1,846 trees were planted in 2015, covering nearly 500 square meters of the total area of 3,700 square meters.
The sanitary landfill at Barangay Payatas received 628,628 metric tons of waste in 2015. At least 3 percent or 24,292 metric tons of the waste materials were recovered at the Materials Recovery Facility.
Quezon City received the 2015 LGU Eco Champion Award at the 1st Philippine Environment Summit last February 11, 2016.
Quezon City is the first local government unit in Metro Manila to have a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for segregation located inside the city hall compound. The QC MRF was inaugurated last April 24, 2015.