Vietnam takes measures to treat increase in domestic waste

As domestic solid waste has long been piling up and become an acute issue in Vietnam for a long time, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) is developing a project to improve waste treatment and management in both rural and urban areas.

Workers sort waste at a waste treatment factory (Photo: VNA)

Workers sort waste at a waste treatment factory (Photo: VNA)

According to deputy head of the MoNRE’s Vietnam Environment Administration Hoang Van Thuc, increased mounds of rubbish have posed great challenges to treatment process across all localities.
He explained how the average daily disposal of solid waste is 0.4kg per person in rural areas. The amount recorded in Red River and Mekong Delta regions is 0.5kg due to intensive farming activities. Meanwhile, that in northern mountainous localities is estimated at 0.3kg.
The classification of solid waste before treatment has been carried out in such localities as Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Hanoi, Thua Thien-Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, and Can Tho city; however, it has proven inefficient due to a shortage of human resources and infrastructure. There is currently no treatment model that meets the technical, economic, social and environmental standards.
To mention one, many waste treatment facilities have been built in unsuitable places.
Under the MoNRE’s project, the ministry will complete legal documents on solid waste management as well as clarify the responsibilities of the ministries, local authorities, production facilities, and residents.
It will expand financial support, along with preferences in taxes and fees, for recycling projects and promote public-private cooperation in solid waste treatment and recycling.
Organisations and households will have to pay higher fees for discharging garbage to cover waste collection and treatment costs.
Also, it will work out technical support measures to reduce buried waste while increasing recycling as well as building model waste treatment plants.
The ministry recommends that the National Assembly instruct localities to set up plans and supervise the implementation of legal regulations on solid waste management, issue the amended Law on Environmental Protection 2014, and allocate capital for litter management and environmental protection activities.
Relevant ministries, agencies, and localities should draw specific plans to effectively carry out the Prime Minister’s Decision No.491/QD-TTg dated May 7, 2018 approving the adjustment of a national strategy on solid waste management until 2025, with vision towards 2050.
The provincial People’s Committees must ensure that garbage collection and treatment activities take place in communes or residential areas by December 2018. They should issue costs for solid waste collection and treatment as well as announce support from the state budget to ensure a stable trash collection service.
They are not allowed to approve investments in landfills and waste incinerators in villages and communes. It is necessary to instruct organisations and individuals to produce organic fertiliser from disposed organic waste.
Furthermore, they should work with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to call for foreign investment in waste treatment plants using state-of-the-art technology.

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