City looks to turn landfills into leisure

HCM City authorities are calling for investment in the form of public private partnerships (PPP) to build golf courses, parks, trade centres or property projects on three closed landfill sites.

HCM City sanitation workers load waste onto trucks that will carry it to landfills. Three closed landfill sites are planned to become golf courses, parks, and trade centres. — VNA/VNS

HCM City sanitation workers load waste onto trucks that will carry it to landfills. Three closed landfill sites are planned to become golf courses, parks, and trade centres. — VNA/VNS

Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, spoke at a recent meeting with city leaders about the proposals.

HCM City has three landfills that have stopped receiving garbage, covering a total area of about 118ha, including Dong Thanh landfill in Hoc Mon District, Go Cat in Binh Tan District and Phuoc Hiep in Cu Chi District.

These landfills still contain more than 25 million tonnes of waste.

Six investors, mostly local, have submitted proposals to the city. Some investors have proposed resolving all the buried waste and using the land to build golf courses and parks.

Thắng said the city was considering the proposals.

Meanwhile, most households living near the Đông Thạnh landfill in Hóc Môn District have not been informed about the plan to close the landfill to make way for property projects.

Tran Van Uoc, who lives next to the landfill, said “The landfill has been closed but last Tuesday I saw a garbage truck carrying rubbish to the landfill.”

Another resident, Phung Thi Thuong, who lives near Phước Hiệp landfill in Củ Chi District, said “It’s a good idea to build a park here for the residents to do exercise every day.”

Dr. Che Dinh Ly of the Institute of Environment and Resources at Việt Nam National University said the landfill area should be used for a new park and recreational sports area.

If property is built on the land, the city should give priority to warehouses rather than housing because of the risk to people’s health, he said.

The city also needs to collect public opinions on how to use the land, he said.

Dr. Nguyen Dinh Tuan of the University of Natural Resources and Environment said the city’s top concerns should be with the environment.

A landfill can have an environmental impact after closure for 10 years.

Dr. Le Hung Anh, head of the Institute of Science, Technology and Environmental Management of the HCM City University of Industry, said the city should consider waste as a resource that brings benefits.

“I think it’s important to use the land to serve the community. Golf courses only serve a small group of people,” he said.

HMC City discharges between 7,500 and 8,000 tonnes of garbage every day, most of which end up at landfills, according to the department. 

Under an urban development plan, the city will need VND500 trillion (US$22.4 billion) to develop infrastructure by 2020. Of the fund, 34 per cent is expected to come from the State budget and the rest from investors.


VNS

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