Deal with the stink, HCMC tells waste management firms

By Huu Nguyen   August 4, 2019 | 07:38 pm PT
Deal with the stink, HCMC tells waste management firms
Aerial view of the Da Phuoc Integrated Waste Management Facility in Binh Chanh District, HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC on Saturday asked three major waste treatment companies to quickly find solutions to deal with the stench they produced.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment asked Vietnam Waste Solutions (VWS), Green Saigon Biotech and Hoa Binh Environment Service companies, all operating within the Da Phuoc Integrated Waste Management Facility in Binh Chanh District, to find solutions to control the resulting stench.

No time frame or deadline was given.

The order follows months of complaints by residents in the vicinity of the landfill that the stench was getting unbearable and affecting their daily life.

Several residential complexes in District 7, including the Phu My Hung urban area where a large community of expats live, have suffered severe stench, especially after it rains. Residents of Binh Chanh and Nha Be districts faced the same predicament.

Many reported having had to close windows, turn on air conditioners and stay inside because of the stench. Some suffered from headache and dizziness as well.

The HCMC environment department had already requested that the companies clean up and check their waste treatment processes, among other actions, to reduce the stench. But it has had no impact.

In 2017, VWS was slapped with a VND1.5 billion ($64,700) fine by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, along with an order that it stops illegal storage of wastewater and quickly treat all wastewater stored in one of its compartments.

The Da Phuoc Landfill receives 5,600 tons of domestic waste, or more than two thirds of the city’s total, daily. So far it has been dealing with a majority of garbage simply by burying it, and this practice has been blamed for the pervasive stink.

Many of the landfills in Vietnam do not meet environmental requirements and they upset people living nearby, Nguyen Thuong Hien, head of the Vietnam Environment Administration’s waste management department, said at a press conference last month.

There is no solid waste treatment model in the country that meets all technical, economic, social, and environmental requirements, he said, adding that burying most of the waste not only pollutes the environment but also means the country is unable to recycle garbage.

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