Greenpeace Water Patrol stop operations of Angono waste dump

Feature story - August 29, 2008
Greenpeace Water Patrol activists today stalled the operations of a waste dump in Angono, Rizal which has encroached on the shores of Laguna Lake, by blockading its entrance with steel scaffolding to prevent garbage trucks from entering and continuing to dump the municipality’s refuse in the site.

Greenpeace Water Patrol activists construct a metallic barrier at the entrance to a waste dump in Angono Rizal in Manila Philippines on August 29, 2008.The waste dump which has encroached the shores of Laguna Lake was blocked with steel scaffolding to prevent garbage trucks from entering and continuing to dump the municipality's refuse in the site. Dumpsites are illegal under the Ecological Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Angono dumpsite, located on the banks of Laguna Lake, additionally blatantly violates the Clean Water Act (RA 9275).

Greenpeace Water Patrol activists construct a metallic barrier at the entrance to a waste dump in Angono Rizal in Manila Philippines on August 29, 2008.The waste dump which has encroached the shores of Laguna Lake was blocked with steel scaffolding to prevent garbage trucks from entering and continuing to dump the municipality's refuse in the site. Dumpsites are illegal under the Ecological Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Angono dumpsite, located on the banks of Laguna Lake, additionally blatantly violates the Clean Water Act (RA 9275).

Greenpeace Water Patrol activists construct a metallic barrier at the entrance to a waste dump in Angono Rizal in Manila Philippines on August 29, 2008.The waste dump which has encroached the shores of Laguna Lake was blocked with steel scaffolding to prevent garbage trucks from entering and continuing to dump the municipality's refuse in the site. Dumpsites are illegal under the Ecological Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Angono dumpsite, located on the banks of Laguna Lake, additionally blatantly violates the Clean Water Act (RA 9275).

Greenpeace Water Patrol activists construct a metallic barrier at the entrance to a waste dump in Angono Rizal in Manila Philippines on August 29, 2008.The waste dump which has encroached the shores of Laguna Lake was blocked with steel scaffolding to prevent garbage trucks from entering and continuing to dump the municipality's refuse in the site. Dumpsites are illegal under the Ecological Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Angono dumpsite, located on the banks of Laguna Lake, additionally blatantly violates the Clean Water Act (RA 9275) .

Greenpeace Water Patrol activists construct a metallic barrier at the entrance to a waste dump in Angono Rizal in Manila Philippines on August 29, 2008.The waste dump which has encroached the shores of Laguna Lake was blocked with steel scaffolding to prevent garbage trucks from entering and continuing to dump the municipality's refuse in the site. Dumpsites are illegal under the Ecological Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Angono dumpsite, located on the banks of Laguna Lake, additionally blatantly violates the Clean Water Act (RA 9275).

The activists, who wore orange cover-alls, also posted a sign with the notice: Laguna Lake Dumpsite CLOSED. Dump sites are illegal under the Ecological Waste Management Act (RA 9003), and the Angono dumpsite, located on the banks of Laguna Lake, additionally blatantly violates the Clean Water Act (RA 9275).

"Greenpeace Water Patrol is taking action by closing down this waste dump.  This mound of garbage clearly pollutes Laguna Lake.  But the Angono local government, instead of cleaning it up as they promised, is allowing refuse to continue to pile up and pollute the waters," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Toxics Campaigner Beau Baconguis. "There should never have been a dump site here in the first place, and there should be no more excuses about cleaning it up immediately."

This is the second time that the Greenpeace Water Patrol is calling attention to how waste dumps such as those in Angono are contributing to the pollution load of one of the country's most important freshwater bodies. Last April, Greenpeace highlighted how the dump in Angono was a blatant example of illegal waste dumping. In a subsequent meeting with Greenpeace and the EcoWaste Coalition, Angono Mayor Aurora Villamayor promised to clear the dumpsite and close it within six months.  But Water Patrol monitoring revealed that no rehabilitation measures were being instituted, and instead the garbage mounds have become much bigger.

More than 16 million people rely on Laguna Lake for food, water and livelihood, but its water quality is severely compromised by pollution.  According to the Laguna Lake Development Authority, a total of 18 dumpsites, of which four are located on the lake's banks, are part of the problem.  Although the LLDA has asked the concerned local government units to implement the Ecological Waste Management Act the dumps continue to pollute the lake.  Toxic leachate from the said garbage dumps are expected to ooze into the lake for years to come, even after the dumps are successfully closed.

"By continuing to treat Laguna Lake as a rubbish bin, it is obvious that the local government of Angono lacks sincerity and political will to protect their own water resources.  The dumpsite is in full operation despite common knowledge that it is violating environmental laws and polluting the lake.  The DENR must close down this dump and others like it without delay, and immediately order a rehabilitation of the sites to prevent further pollution in the lake," said Baconguis.

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