GIS and Landfill Site Selection




Reynar R. Rollan*, Anthony Ferrer**, Dennis Navera**, M.L. Nanette Catalon*, Marian Lacsamana* and EdKarl Galing*


Using digital thematic maps on regional geology, topography, landuse and groundwater availability and imposing the absolute site selection criteria embodied in DAO 98 50, potential sites are identified by applying the basic overlaying procedures of Geographic Information System (GIS).  Siting constraints required by the criteria allowed the systematic elimination of areas that do not conform to landfill requirements.


Geological restrictions include the 1-kilometer buffer from active and potentially active faults, alluvial and limestone deposits, volcanoes and seismically active areas.  Areas with steeper than 20% slope were also excluded.  Hydrologic restrictions include flood- and liquefaction-prone areas, lakes, and swamps including a 1-kilometer buffer zone from the edge of these water bodies and a 1-kilometer exclusion zone from main river channels.  Productive aquifers were also excluded. Landuse restrictions consist of a 1-kilometer buffer zone from urban and populated areas, main highways and airports.  DAO 98-50 excludes prime agricultural lands.  This criterion was not imposed in the study. However; protected areas and those designated for the development of basic utilities were excluded.  Initial analysis utilized a 15-kilometer radius from major waste generation centers in the provinces and a 15-kilometer envelope from the edge of Metro Manila to address the issue of access. 


The resultant maps were evaluated, vis--vis, the landfill sites considered for Metro Manila by different proponents and those selected for Puerto Princesa, General Santos and Tagbilaran under the SWEEP program.  Of these, the Tagbilaran site is one among the areas eliminated based on the selection criteria.  The GIS-generated maps could be used as a guide in the landfill site selection process on a provincial or regional level.  Final evaluation of site suitability would require detailed studies, covering technical, economic and socio-political considerations.



* T&T Geo-Environment Corporation, Greenhills, Mandaluyong City.

** Cybersoft, Inc., Quezon City.

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