Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

By Ngoc Thanh, Tat Dinh   July 23, 2020 | 09:00 pm GMT+7
After 20 years in operation, the Nam Son landfill in Soc Son District could soon run out of space to bury capital garbage.
Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Built in 1990, the Nam Son waste treatment complex in Soc Son District spans over 157 ha and is divided into two phases. The first phase included 10 trash burial slots spanning over 83 ha, while the second one included eight slots spanning over 73 ha, including technical and service infrastructure. All first phase slots have now been filled.

The landfill's southern area, spanning 36 ha, has six trash burial slots and has been operational since 2015, with a capacity of around five million m3 of trash. All these slots were filled by 2019, prompting Hanoi People's Committee to allow Hanoi Urban Environment Company (Urenco) to add two more slots and make use of the gaps between old ones to increase capacity.

Meanwhile, the landfill's northern area, part of the second phase, has not commenced construction due to clearance problems prevalent since 2015. It would span 37 ha and have two trash burial slots with a capacity of 1.9 million m3.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Garbage trucks queue up to dump trash at the site.

The landfill could run out of space for trash burial this September if it is not expanded, said Le Duy Dung, head of the planning department of Urenco 8, which operates the site.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Trash burial slots piled as high as 35 m above ground would not be allowed to receive any more garbage and would have to be covered with HDPE sheets to prevent rainwater from leaking in and the stench from creeping out.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Trash are dumped in a terrace-like manner so it could stay in place and prevent erosion.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Over 170 workers divide themselves into three shifts to operate the site 24/24.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

"Getting the truck onto the peaks of the site requires experience and concentration. Being careless could mean slipping off," said driver Nguyen Duy Tuan, 45.

Vehicles collect trash from 17 districts across Hanoi and enter and exit the site hundreds of time each day.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Garbage at the site is never sorted.

Hanoi produces around 6,500 tons of trash per day, of which 5,000 tons are transported to the Nam Son landfill, 1,300 tons to the Xuan Son landfill in Son Tay Town and the rest to smaller garbage treatment sites.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Uncovered piles of trash, reaching up to 3-4 m, await processing.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Bulldozers continually compress trash at the landfill. Workers then spray it with chemicals to contain the stench, prevent rainwater from leaking in and combine the garbage.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Medical trash is processed separately at the site, steamed at high temperature before being buried to prevent possible contamination.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

The site produces 3,100-3,500 m3 of leachate, processed by two factories before it could be dumped outside.

Hanoi's biggest landfill is running out of space

Within a 500m radius of the Nam Son landfill live over 2,000 families who need to be relocated from the site, leaving behind around 396 ha of agricultural and residential land. But clearance processes are still being delayed, which further affects management and operation of the landfill.

 
 
go to top