Philippines: Solid Waste Management Program
Solid waste management represents a broad challenge that affects human health and livelihoods, the environment, and prosperity. In the Philippines, the use of open dumpsites remains prevalent, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from these sites are still growing. Only about 70 percent of the more than 8,000 tons of garbage produced every day in Manila are collected. The rest pollutes the streets and local rivers and the waste that is collected is taken to dump sites that often catch fire or contaminate local water supplies. The waste decomposes and produces methane, a GHG that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a major cause of climate change. To tackle this issue, the Philippines Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 encourages sector modernization through expanded adoption of non-mandatory low GHG-emitting waste management technologies.
The Carbon Partnership Facility partnered with the Land Bank Philippines to encourage local governments and private operators to properly close existing dumpsites and establish sanitary landfills in their place. The participating operators set up sanitary landfills by installing landfill gas collection systems that capture, flare, and/or combust methane for electricity generation. The revenue from the sale of certified emissions reductions provides the needed funding to allow landfill site owners and operators to properly capture the greenhouse gas emissions, use an appropriate flare system that protects the environment, and even generate electricity from the recovered gas to sell back to the grid.
Under the program, two landfills (Montalban and Payatas), with more than 500,000 tons of waste in place have lowered emissions by 498,793 CO2. Moreover, the Montalban landfill in the Rizal Province and the Payatas landfill in Quezon City, have successfully transformed the trash collection business into methane gas power plants with 8.19 megawatts (MW) and 2.5 MW power generation capacity.
The program’s design aligned the objectives of all the stakeholders involved. It is a good example of how carbon finance can help the waste sector in adopting low GHG-emitting waste management technologies, while pursuing the development objectives of the country. In addition, the program further enabled emissions reductions by replacing grid electrical power sourced from fossil fuel plants with renewable energy from the recovered methane.