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Bishop opposes provincial land fill project

Risk of water pollution too great, zero waste management is best, says prelate

Bishop opposes provincial land fill project
A worker at the sanitary landfill in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan province
Bernardino Balabo, San Jose del Monte City

July 11, 2011

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The bishop of Malolos issued a pastoral letter yesterday expressing Church opposition to a proposed sanitary landfill in Bulacan province. In his three-page letter, Bishop Jose Francisco Oliveros warned that there is a high risk of serious pollution if the project goes ahead on a 100-hectare site near the town of Donya Remedios Trinidad. Only four drops of leachate from the landfill could contaminate 20,000 gallons of water, he said. Leachate is contaminated liquid that comes from water that has passed through decomposing waste. The bishop called on people to be "responsible stewards of God’s creation" by segregating garbage as part of the Church's advocacy of "zero waste management." Landfill operators say the project is lawful and provides a solution to a looming garbage crisis in Manila. "There is no landfill anywhere in the world that doesn’t face opposition, even from Church groups. They always do," said Bruce Williams, operations manager of the company behind the project. Bishop Oliveros, however, said it is the diocese’s role to be a "strong defender of life" and to "oppose powers that will try to end it." However, Rey San Pedro the mayor of nearby San Jose del Monte, said city officials are planning a better city with a bigger population. "How can we do that if we cannot manage our garbage," he said.
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