An enormous amount of debris is dredged up daily in three major canals in Ho Chi Minh City, raising the question of how appropriately local authorities are managing the urban channels.
Every day trash boats haul an average of 10-40 metric tons of garbage from portions of the Te, Doi, and Tau Hu-Ben Nghe Canals in District 8, according to a report by the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
On public holidays, that number can reach as high as 60-80 metric tons, the report continued.
The three canals range from five to more than nine kilometers long.
Household waste, such as rubber and plastic bags, account for up to 70 percent of the garbage.
The remaining 30 percent is aquatic plants.
The trash from these three canals is transported to the city’s largest dump, the Da Phuoc Landfill in Binh Chanh District, after collection.
Da Phuoc recently made national headlines for the stench it has been spreading to neighboring residential areas, including the Phu My Hung New Urban Area, a residential neighborhood famous for its luxury villas and apartment buildings.
Previously, trash boat workers said they picked up 5-14 metric tons of garbage a day from the Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe Canal alone, including furniture and animal carcasses.
Residents along this canal and the three in District 8 tend to dump waste directly into the water.
Ho Chi Minh City has faced a long-running trash collection issue for decades.
It spends around VND2,850 billion (US$123 million) on garbage collection and VND1,132 million ($49 million) on drainage system maintenance each year, according to data from the local Department of Finance.