HCMC gets serious about sorting its trash

By Minh Nga    November 17, 2018 | 07:55 pm PT
HCMC gets serious about sorting its trash
The city piloted waste sorting in a part of District 1 in 2013, but implementing this has been a bumpy road. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
Vietnam’s biggest city will have all families separate organic and inorganic waste after 2020 and fine those who fail to do so.

The municipal People’s Committee says the city will follow a step by step roadmap to waste sorting, implementing it in two phases: from now until 2020 and after 2020.

Taking effect on November 24, the plan will have local authorities guide certain families and businesses on sorting their daily waste by putting labels on different trash bins.

From now until 2020, every district and commune can flexibly apply methods to make the waste sorting process as efficient as they can.

The trash will be sorted into three categories: organic trash, recycled trash and other.

After the waste is sorted, solid waste will be taken to zones in specialized garbage carts.

Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the city’s environment department, said HCMC might have organic trash collected every day, and other types of waste every two or three days.

After 2020, all families, businesses, and organizations across the city must show self-discipline to sort their waste by themselves.

Those who do not do so will first be warned, and if the behavior persists, be fined.

The decision on sorting out waste, issued Wednesday last week, is based on a 2016 governmental decree that imposes penalties on violating rules on environmental protection.

The decree carries a fine of VND15-20 million ($645-860) for those who do not store and sort daily solid waste according to regulations or do not transfer solid waste to units in charge of collecting, transporting and disposing of it, or fail to arrange sufficient means and equipment for collecting, storing and classifying solid waste at source.

HCMC officially started sorting waste at source in 1999, but implementing this has been a bumpy road.

In 2013, the city piloted waste sorting in a part of District 1 in the downtown area, attracting nearly 200 families to join, but it has not made much headway in terms of changing residents’ awareness or behavior.

HCMC spends VND4 trillion ($172 million) each year dealing with trash, officials said at a meeting in July. The entire city discards almost 9,000 tons of solid waste each day and the figure is expected to be 11,000 tons by 2020.

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