Saigon stench culprit identified as landfill site

By An Hong   September 22, 2016 | 05:00 am PT
Saigon stench culprit identified as landfill site
Residents in the southern suburban districts are worried about a strong odor in the area. Photo by VGP
Authorities pinpoint the source of the unbearable odor plaguing southern suburbs.

Residents living in the southern districts of Ho Chi Minh City, including the affluent Phu My Hung residential area, have been putting up with an unpleasant smell for many years, but this year they say the stench has become unbearable.

Local people are worried that whatever is causing the smell may be damaging their health.

After receiving hundreds of complaints about the foul smell, the city launched an investigation into the source of the odor in August, said Nguyen Ngoc Thiep, a senior official at the city’s water and environment department.

However, locals already had their own suspicions about the source: the Da Phuoc landfill site.

Their theory has now been confirmed by the city’s top leader, Dinh La Thang.

The mysterious odor is particularly strong from midnight until morning, and things get worse during the rainy season between July and September, said residents.

“Many people living here can’t stand the smell, and some have moved elsewhere because of it. Others have no choice but to endure it,” said Ha, the owner of a local grocery shop.

“We have endured the stink for the past three or four years. We can smell it in the air, from the rooftops and especially in open spaces,” said a Phu My Hung resident.

The city’s largest landfill site was put into operation in 2007, and currently treats 5,000 tons of garbage daily.

Vietnam Waste Solutions, which runs the site, said it is working diligently to control the odor emanating from the landfill.

Authorities have plans to move the waste disposal facility out of the inner city to a new landfill site that is under construction in Long An Province, about 60 kilometers southwest of Ho Chi Minh City.

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