Hanoi to sort burnable trash for efficient waste treatment

By Vo Hai   November 27, 2020 | 06:00 pm PT
Hanoi to sort burnable trash for efficient waste treatment
People trade recyclable trash like plastic, metal and paper for goods and cash at a recyclable trash trade point in Dong Da District, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dinh.
The capital city will sort its trash into burnable and non-burnable categories for optimum waste processing, an official said.

Hoang Cao Thang, deputy director of the Hanoi construction department, said Thursday the city will try to have families adopt this sorting method.

Initially, the city could choose certain areas with infrastructural advantages, good trash collection capacity and residents willing to go along with the plan to try the new sorting method, he said at a meeting with voters prior to a People’s Council (legislature) meeting in Hoan Kiem District.

The trash sorting process would help reduce solid materials like bricks, stones, rocks and glass being dumped with regular trash. The city would also encourage people to sort recyclable and non-recyclable waste by paying them for the former, which includes material like plastic and metals, he added.

Hanoi is investing in several waste processing technologies, including building waste-to-energy plants. These include the Soc Son waste treatment complex with a capacity of 4,000 tons per day and a waste-to-energy plant at the Xuan Son landfill with a capacity of 1,000 tons per day. The Soc Son complex is under construction, while the plant at the Xuan Son landfill would be constructed in the future, Thang said.

Duong Duc Tuan, chairman of the Hoan Kiem District People’s Council, agreed with the plan to sort trash at the household level, but cautioned that it would be effective only if it is made compatible with existing waste collection, transport and processing systems.

Starting August, the Hanoi Urban Environment Company (Urenco) has been cooperating with Hoan Kiem authorities to pilot the new trash sorting method in four of the district’s 18 wards.

The first phase of this project, expected to run until the end of the year, would sort recyclable and non-recyclable trash. In the second phase (2021-2025), it would sort the trash into recyclable, organic, burnable and non-burnable categories.

Hanoi currently produces 6,500 tons of domestic waste a day. Most of it, around 6,300 tons, is buried, and the rest burned.

Major landfills in big cities like HCMC, Da Nang and Hanoi have become overloaded and are adversely affecting people's lives.

Hanoi and HCMC spend VND1.2-1.5 trillion ($52-65 million), or around 3.5 percent of their annual budgets, on collecting and treating garbage.

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