Vietnam wants garbage classified next year at latest

By Gia Chinh   November 6, 2023 | 05:25 pm PT
Vietnam wants garbage classified next year at latest
Different kinds of trash is gathered into one cart in HCMC's Thu Duc City, May 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has ordered localities to start enforcing a new three-category trash sorting policy no later than Dec. 31, 2024.

In guidelines issued recently, the ministry announced that solid domestic waste must be classified into three categories: recycled waste, organic waste, and other waste.

Recycled waste includes plastic, paper, metal, and glass materials that could later be reprocessed into reusable products, materials, and substances.

The second type, organic waste, which includes food waste, must be wrapped in leak-proof bags and packaging to prevent odors and wastewater from spreading.

The third type, other waste, includes hazardous garbage such as pesticide and insecticide packaging, chemical containers, and trash discarded from industrial and healthcare facilities.

The Law on Environment Protection that took effect last year also gives sanitation workers the right to refuse to collect trash that has not been sorted.

The government issued a directive last year that requires households who fail to sort their domestic waste to pay a fine of VND1 million (US$41) for each and every instance they are caught doing so.

However, the law has remained a piece of paper until now. Residents, especially in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, have continued to discard trash without sorting it.

In some cases, residents said their efforts to classify waste have been a waste because eventually trash collectors throw all categories of garbage into one cart anyway.

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