Last update: 07:40 | 01/01/2018
Vietnam produces 12.8 million tons of solid waste a year
In 2016, many households in Phu My Hung new urban area in district 7 in HCMC complained to local authorities about a bad odor in the area. Finally, the culprit was found: the odor was from a waste treatment plant nearby.
In July 2017, residents in Nam Son commune in Soc Son district in Hanoi blocked trucks carrying waste to the Nam Son waste treatment complex because they believed the operation of the complex affected the lives of 700 households.
In 2011, a Hoi An composting plant was put into operation. However, in 2013, the plant’s director Le Thi Bich Thuy admitted that the fertilizer produced by the plant could not be sold because of low quality.
There are about 35 solid waste treatment plants across the country and 50 small incinerators with the capacity of 500 kilograms per hour.
A report from MONRE shows that Vietnam produces 12.8 million tons of solid waste a year, of which 6.9 million tons are from urban areas, mostly treated by burying (95 percent in Hanoi and 76 percent in HCMC).
In February 2017, HCMC agreed in principle to build a waste treatment plant using plasma technology of Trisun Green Energy Corporation (Australia).
Experts said this is the largest project that treats waste with plasma technology with total investment capital of $520 million and the treatment cost of $20.628 per ton. This is an advanced technology which ensures all technical, social and economic requirements.
However, according to Prof Nguyen Quoc Sy, no country in the world uses plasma technology for domestic garbage treatment, because of its high cost. The technology is only used to treat very toxic waste (substances from chemical weapons, dirty warheads, and radioactive waste).
Nguyen Thi My, a Viet Kieu engineer in the US, said some participants at a conference on waste treatment in South Korea pointed out many problems in treating waste with plasma technology. Waste of different kinds, after being burnt with the technology, cannot be used for any purpose.
The plasma waste treatment plant would not only have high treatment cost but would be ‘hungry’ for waste.
Though emphasizing that advanced technologies to treat solid waste is a must, experts say this is not the first thing that Vietnam needs to do.
What is needed is a change in people’s view about waste and a shift to sorting waste at the source.