Da Nang landfill full, treatment plant projects halted

By Nguyen Dong   July 20, 2023 | 08:20 pm PT
Da Nang landfill full, treatment plant projects halted
Trash is dumped at Khanh Son Landfill in Da Nang for burial, May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Da Nang’s only landfill is overflowing and legislators from the central city do not believe in local authorities’ ability to open two delayed waste treatment plants anytime soon.

Da Nang currently collects 1,800-2,500 tons of solid domestic waste per day and the city deposits it all at the Khanh Son Landfill.

The landfill in Lien Chieu District has been overflowing since 2019, prompting nearby residents to block garbage trucks from entering it several times in protest of the pollution caused by the dump.

In 2010, the city started work on a waste treatment plant next to the landfill. The project was originally planned to open in late 2020 with the capacity to manage 650 tons of garbage per day. But the project currently remains unfinished.

In 2017, the city announced plans to build another waste treatment complex to treat 1,000 tons of trash per day. Since then, investment procedures for the project have not been completed and construction has not even begun.

Speaking at a Wednesday meeting with Da Nang People’s Council, the city’s legislative body, Pham Nam Son, director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said both projects have been stuck in procedural entanglements.

Construction began on the first project in 2010 but in 2014 its investment procedures had to be changed because the project’s private investor wanted to change the plant’s operating techniques.

Related agencies then had to seek permission for the changes from the Ministry of National Defense because the plant is built on military land, which made the request complicated, according to Son.

Thus, cumbersome procedures have resulted in the project being delayed until now, he said.

Regarding the second project to treat 1,000 tons of garbage, Son explained that the city had approved a plan to build it using loans from the Asian Development Bank. But in 2019, the prime minister adjusted the plan and decided for the project to be built under a public–private partnership.

After that decision, the city got tied up approving a feasibility report for the project, and looking for an investor, according to Son.

Legislators attending the meeting were not satisfied with Son’s explanation.

Nguyen Thi Phuong said that based on what Son said, it was still not clear when exactly the two projects would be fully built and operational.

At a meeting with the People’s Council in late 2021, the department had promised to finish both projects in 2024, Phuong recalled, saying that "the people paid a lot of attention to that promise."

Legislator Nguyen Manh Toan said he "could not imagine when progress will be made on the two projects after listening to director Son’s speech."

Luong Nguyen Minh Triet, chairman of the council, said many of the departments’ leaders have promised for a long time to complete the two projects, but neither of them are currently finished.

He said with the ongoing process and lack of progress, the Khanh Son landfill will continue to suffer overloads until at least the end of next year.

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