Hanoi faces garbage crisis as protesters block dump

By Tat Dinh   July 16, 2020 | 01:33 am PT
Garbage is being sent to small dumps in Hanoi after irate locals blockaded its biggest landfill and rubbish began to pile up on streets.

Residents near the Nam Son waste treatment plant in Soc Son District have blocked all roads leading to the site since last Sunday in protest against compensation and resettlement delays. As a result, garbage laden pushcarts have been left stranded across the city for the past few days

They are slowly being cleared now after garbage trucks began transporting rubbish to various other dumps.

In many cases, garbage collectors have had to cover their pushcarts with canvas and sprinkle lime powder around them to contain the odor.

Carts of garbage stay in line on a street in Cau Giay District of Hanoi, July 15, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Manh

Pushcarts filled with garbage on a street in Cau Giay District, Hanoi on July 15, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Manh

The city decided on Wednesday to send 1,300 tons of garbage discharged every day in Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung, and Dong Da districts to a dump site in Nam Tu Liem District managed by the Hanoi Urban Environment Company (Urenco 7).

More than 5,100 tons daily from 21 other districts are sent to Xuan Son garbage dump in Son Tay District and 850 tons from Thanh Tri, Dong Anh, Gia Lam, Me Linh, and Soc Son districts are retained.

But Xuan Son only has a capacity of 1,200 tons per day and is said to be quickly filling up.

Nguyen Hoang Anh, director of Urenco 7, said he has 60 workers, two excavators, tanks, and deodorant chemicals and could temporarily take in the trash.

Trieu Tuan Duc, a spokesperson for parent company Urenco, said on Wednesday that the amount of trash left in carts and trucks on streets in Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung, and Dong Da districts had risen to 1,820 tons.

Gargabe is burned by local residents after it piles up along Tan Trieu Street in Thanh Tri District of Hanoi, July 15, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Garbage on Tan Trieu Street in Thanh Tri District being burned by local residents on July 15, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

People living in the communes of Nam Son and Hong Ky around the Nam Son landfill continued their protests for a fifth day Thursday against the city’s tardiness in compensating and resettling them away from the garbage dump.

They have pitched camps on streets leading to its gates and blocked vehicles from going in.

The city had promised to complete compensation payment and relocation within the second quarter, but affected families said they have only received money for their agricultural lands and not a dong for their houses or gardens.

In January the city had ordered Soc Son District authorities to quickly finalize plans to compensate and relocate families living within 500 m of the dump due to the pollution and odor it causes.

There are 2,000 households to be relocated.

Built in 1999, the 157-hectare Nam Son waste treatment plant receives almost 5,000 tons of garbage every day and landfills it.

Hanoi generates 6,500 tons of solid domestic waste daily and 89 percent of it is buried.

Last year the same people had blocked trucks on three different occasions, also resulting in thousands of tons of garbage piling up along streets.

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