The amount of garbage in Ho Chi Minh City is expanding at an alarming rate, putting enormous pressure on the environment and forcing local authorities to come up with solutions quickly.
The 2013 statistics of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment revealed that the daily amount of waste created in the southern hub was approximately 6,500 metric tons.
The 2017 figure, less than five years later, has reached 8,300 metric tons per day, representing a 27 percent increase.
Experts have warned that the city’s trash will soon exceed 13,000 metric tons per day by 2025.
According to Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the city’s environment department, despite an improvement in dealing with medical and industrial waste, the city is still struggling to properly treat household garbage.
Following the shutdown of the Dong Thanh landfill in 2000 and Go Cat in 2007, domestic trash has been transferred to Phuoc Hiep Waste Treatment Plant in Cu Chi District and Da Phuoc Plant in Binh Chanh District.
In 2006, Vietnam Waste Solutions (VWS), developer of the Da Phuoc waste treatment complex, promised to build a waste recycling and compost plant.
After years of delay, the facility was finally constructed but has yet to be operated as VWS claimed that the function is only viable if the garbage is properly classified.
In 2010, two waste treatment plants operated by Vietstar and Tam Sinh Nghia were put into operation with a capacity of 2,500 metric tons per day to help relieve the stress on other locations.
Assistant Professor Le Van Khoa, from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, stated that most garbage can be recycled or turned into compost.
“The traditional way of treating rubbish by burying it underground takes up a large amount of land and money, while wasting the potential resources that recycled waste can bring,” Khoa remarked.
Given the rapid increase of garbage in the city, Director Thang underlined the importance of reducing the amount of buried waste, essential for sustainable development.
Local authorities have been working with the developers of existing treatment plants to invest in new technology at their facilities.
Vietstar and Tam Sinh Nghia are expected to acquire new incineration systems while VWS will add a treatment technology that uses compressed natural gas.
Le Van Khoa, vice-chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, pledged that local authorities would provide favorable conditions for businesses to acquire the appropriate technology to achieve more sustainable waste solutions.