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Trash abounds on Saigon streets

Trash abounds on Saigon streets

Thursday, May 06, 2021, 15:50 GMT+7
Trash abounds on Saigon streets
Heaps of trash encroach on Luong Ngoc Quyen Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Areas throughout Ho Chi Minh City, particularly near bridges, empty land plots, and roads, have gradually turned into big landfills due to indiscriminate dumping over the years.

With waste, old furniture, broken glass, and discarded toilets piling up at the end of the Rach Chiec Bridge in Thu Duc City and plastic waste, packaging, and construction cluttering the area under the Saigon Bridge in Binh Thanh District, it is clear Ho Chi Minh City is battling a litter epidemic.

On Luong Ngoc Quyen Street in Go Vap District, local residents often wake up to heaps of garbage in front of their houses though street sweepers regularly clean the area.

According to X.M., a 27-year-old local, many people who visit Luong Ngoc Quyen Street for morning exercise have recently complained that the area has become too polluted with trash.

“[Litterers] throw away trash at night to avoid attention,” M. said.

Trash is dumped on the sidewalk of a street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Trash is dumped on the sidewalk of a street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Indiscriminate dumping remains rampant across the city despite regulations declaring littering and burning trash in public carrying fines of VND5-8 million (US$217-347).

Nguyen Duy Khanh, a street sweeper with 14 years of experience in Ho Chi Minh City, complained that he and his colleagues have become increasingly frustrated with indiscriminate trashing.

“There are several cleaning sessions a year carried out to handle indiscriminate dumping, with most of them on public holidays and the Lunar New Year,” Khanh said.

“The longer trash is left untouched, the more it stinks and the more difficult it becomes to clean.”

The street sweeper added that cleaning litter entails many risks, such as injury and illness due to suffering from pollution or other types of waste of unknown origin.

Construction waste is dumped on vacant land plots in Thu Duc City. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Construction waste is dumped on vacant land plots in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Like Khanh, Thuan, another street sweeper in District 6, said that trying to prevent people from indiscriminate dumping was like water off a duck’s back.

“I asked them to avoid dumping trash but they didn't listen,” Thuan complained.

“Trash is dicarded everywhere, from vacant land lots to right in front of people’s houses.”

To tackle indiscriminate dumping, Nguyen Kien Trung, deputy chairman of Ward 5 in Go Vap District where this issue has been prevalent, said that local authorities will coordinate with the ward police and other units to beef up inspection and install surveillance cameras in the vicinity.

Construction waste is dumped next to a sign for banning dumping in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

Construction waste is dumped next to a sign banning dumping in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

An old toilet is discarded on a sidewalk in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

An old toilet is discarded along a road in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

Trash is dumped on the sidewalk of National Highway 1 in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

Trash is dumped along National Highway 1 in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

Trash is dumped at the foot of the Rach Chiec Bridge in Thu Duc City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

Trash is dumped at the foot of the Rach Chiec Bridge in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

Trash is dumped at the foot of the Rach Chiec Bridge in Thu Duc City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

Trash is dumped at the foot of the Rach Chiec Bridge in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Ut / Tuoi Tre

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