HCMC mulls mechanical trash picker for canal system

By Gia Minh   January 15, 2021 | 06:50 pm GMT+7
HCMC mulls mechanical trash picker for canal system
Workers use a machine to collect water hyacinth along the Vam Thuat Canal in HCMC's Go Vap District, October 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh.
HCMC's Transport Department has requested approval to spend VND13 billion ($565,000) renting a machine to clear trash from three canals.

The machine, supplied by a local contractor, can collect 30 tons of garbage in seven hours, with the department suggesting to hire it for a period of ten months to clean up a total canal surface of 70 hectares (173 acres).

The department made the suggestion after first piloting the machine and collecting opinions from related agencies and district authorities.

As proposed, the machine would be used to clear water hyacinths, other weeds and waste from the three canals of Vam Thuat, Truong Dai and Tham Luong in Districts 12, Binh Thanh, Tan Binh and Go Vap.

The entire garbage collecting system would include the waste picker, crane, tug boat and barge, which the department wants to hire from March to December to clean up the canals 15 times per month.

All trash collected would be transferred to a city landfill for processing.

Last October, the machine was put on trial along Vam Thuat Canal in Go Vap District, with 10 workers collecting 30 tons of garbage in seven hours.

Several cleanup efforts had been carried out along canals in HCMC in the past, before a grand resurrection project for the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal, worth more than $200 million in World Bank support, proceeded between 2003 and 2012.

But regular dumping still threatens the city's canal system. Over 14 tons of waste, mostly plastic, animal carcasses and plants like water hyacinth, are released into the canals each day. Incidents of mass fish deaths have been reported in recent years.

Since 2013, the city has organized for environmental workers to sail along canals and use rackets to scavenge for trash, but this method has been said to be inefficient, with too much time and efforts spent while the amount of trash collected is limited.

Workers use a machine to collect water hyacinth along Vam Thuat Canal in HCMC's Go Vap District, October 2020. Video to by VnExpress/Gia Minh.

 
 
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