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Cagayan de Oro okays Taiwanese proposal for incinerator plant
by Ellen P. Red, Business World (12 July 2004)

Despite its perceived adverse effect on the environment, an incinerator plant would be built in this city.

In an interview over a local radio station, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano said he was agreeable to the planned incinerator facility in the city despite his admission that such plants could cause air pollution.

Taiwanese investors earlier met with the mayor on a plan to put up an incinerator in response to the local solid waste problem. Details of the proposal were not available, however.

The city mayor said the present dump site in the city could not be converted into an incinerator plant since people were residing nearby and that he planned to convert the present landfill site as the future site of the city hall.

Mr. Emano said he told the Taiwanese investors to build the proposed incinerator plant at a far-flung barangay such Balubal, at least 10 kilometers from downtown.

In early 1998, the city's health, environment and sanitation committee proposed that the local government operate an incinerator for hospital wastes. But Task Force Macajalar, a local environmental group, opposed the proposal due to its adverse impact on the environment.

Back then, Greenpeace, an international environmental watchdog group, released a paper, which said burning hospital wastes may kill bacteria and other pathogens, but it would create more problems that are more difficult to solve.

The proposed incineration of medical wastes was totally abandoned by the administration of former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Pablo Magtajas. To date, the city's garbage remains dumped in a landfill site close to the heart of the city.

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Business World

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