Plastic Granulator Equipment: LGU Legazpi’s Solution for Plastic Waste Diversion

LEGAZPI CITY —  The implementation of the plastic shredder project, which started in early 2022 by the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) under the Local Government Unit of Legazpi is still ongoing today.

The operation is under the supervision of Engr. Linno Benju Calleja, OIC of OCENR and Pollution Control Officer of the Sanitary Landfill Facility. 

The project has undergone a long yet rigorous process that is inclined to its its main purpose which is to increase waste diversion rate in the city.

“Before procurement of equipment kasi medyo malaki ‘yung equipment, magbabaseline data gathering muna, then pag nakuha na ‘yon, you can customize the equipment… and then after that installation, there’s the construction of the shredder,” Engr. Neil Dominic Careo, Health & Safety Officer I of OCENR said.

[Translation: Before the procurement of the large equipment, baseline data gathering will be done first, then when that is obtained, you can customize the equipment… and then after that installation, there’s the construction of the shredder.]

Because the landfill’s area is quite large for the plastic shredder equipment, which can process around 7,000 kg or 7 tons per hour, the equipment is situated inside the Sanitary Landfill Facility at Banquerohan, where the staff can easily manage and recover the accumulated plastics that can be recycled inside.

“Instead na pumasok sa sanitary landfill facility ‘yung mga basura, meron kasing mga plastics with potential for recycling, ito ‘yung mga type of plastic na pwede pa natin marecover,” he added.

[Translation: Instead of the wastes entering the sanitary landfill facility, because there are potential plastics for recycling, these are the types of plastic that we can still recover.]

Before the wastes are put into the shredding machine, there is a final sorting — after that, the rejects, such as those that are mixed with residuals, e.g. napkins and diapers, are dumped into the sanitary landfill.

In the end, only the clean plastics are left and undergoes the shredding process.

“We have city trucks that collect wastes from barangay MRFs because each barangay has its own, and then everyday they collect both residual and biodegradable wastes so there’s no issue of distance… there’s logistic which is yung city truck na nagcocollect [ng basura] papuntang Banquerohan,” Engr. Careo explained.

The project is under a 10-year plan of the local government unit while the city government plans to buy an alternative technology which aside from the plastic shredder equipment will also include the glass pulverizer and then the eco-bricks. But these are still on the pipeline due to budget constraints.

They also have a newly constructed centralized Material Recovery Facility (MRF) which will be used as storage for the shredded plastic that needs to be temporarily stored for further processing.

LGU Legazpi reminds other LGUs that although they have their own initiatives or projects related to plastic waste diversion, they can replicate or install one of the alternative technologies such as the plastic shredder equipment, or a plastic excursion machine where the shredded plastic can be melted, molded and converted into the likes of chairs or pots, depending on the mold or another project  in mind. | Christine Angeli Naparato

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Photo courtesy: Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources through Engr. Neil Dominic D. Careo