Mini hydros clear rivers of garbage

A device called a trash rack is used to ensure that debris and garbage from the river do not enter a run-of-river hydropower system. Composed of a steel grate with narrow gaps, trash racks are designed to trap floating debris preventing them from clogging the hydropower system and disrupting operations In Hedcor, the debris and garbage caught in the grating of its hydropower plants are collected and put into a garbage pit. In harmony with the company’s waste management practices, the garbage collected from the trash racks are seggregated and classified into biodegradables, recyclables and residuals. As a rule, residuals are disposed in the nearest municipal sanitary landfill while biodegradables go into a composting pit installed in each 18 plants of Hedcor and recyclables are either re-used or sold to buy-back centers.

Five of Hedcor’s run-of-river hydropower systems tap the energy of the Balili River in Benguet. During the onset of the rainy season, trash and debris flowing downstream increases. Because of this, each of Hedcor’s system is installed with trash racks that could individually trap and collect up to 20 sacks of garbage floating in the river which come from the increased urban settlements around the Balili. Together, the Bineng plants 1, 2, 2b, 3 and Ampohaw prevent about a hundred sacks of garbage from floating down the river at any given time.

But for a company that prides itself in being responsible for the environment, their initiatives are not limited to their trash racks. In partnership with its host communities, the company consistently holds clean river drives for its tributaries and reforestation efforts for the watersheds.

The hydro specialist also pledged its commitment to preserving the Balili River through the DENR’s Adopt-a-River program. Under this program, Hedcor has taken the responsibility of spearheading activities that will help mobilize the communities in solid waste management and environmental improvement programs.

Hedcor has 19 run-of-river hydrpower plants in Benguet, Ilocos Sur and Davao, each doing their share of cleaning up with their respective trash racks. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, Hedcor is set to bring its “Cleanergy” for the benefit of Bukidnon and the Mountain Province later this year.

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