Landfill operator notorious for causing Saigon stench fined $66,000

By Huu Nguyen   June 9, 2017 | 07:19 pm GMT+7

It seems local residents have kicked up enough of a stink for authorities to take action.

Vietnam’s environment ministry has fined the operator of a major landfill site in Ho Chi Minh City more than VND1.5 billion ($66,100) for illegally discharging sewage.

Vietnam Waste Solutions, Inc. had failed to build sewage treatment facilities and had discharged sewage that exceeded safety limits, authorities said.

The company has been ordered to treat the remaining sewage stored at the site by August.

The 138-hectare (341-acre) Da Phuoc site is about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of the city center and is the culprit behind a stench that has plagued the city’s southern suburbs for months.

The smell gets particularly bad overnight and during the rainy season between July and September.

Many residents, including those in the affluent Phu My Hung area, filed complaints last year saying that the stench had become unbearable.

The city’s largest landfill site was put into operation in 2007 with total investment of more than $107 million, and currently treats 5,000 tons of garbage daily.

Authorities plan to move the waste disposal facility out of the inner city to a new site that is under construction in Long An Province, about 60 kilometers away.

They have also pledged to spend more than VND1 trillion ($44 million) over the next four years as part of broader efforts to solve the odor problem, including covering the costs of relocation and planting new trees.

The city said it will also encourage investors to provide waste management services to collect and recycle between 1,000 and 2,000 tons of solid waste per day.