Authorities of Dak Nong Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region announced on Thursday the discovery of a hazardous medical waste landfill illegally formed in Kien Thanh Commune, Dak R’lap District.
As observed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents, the waste dump smelled of nylon, acrid smoke, and stench.
Leftovers of plastic medical tools, packaging, cloth, old clothes, needles, pipes for medical applications, X-ray films, and plastic containers could be seen on the ground.
A village head reported to the People’s Committee of Kien Thanh Commune that a tractor brought a trailer containing black solid waste to the locality, then discharged and buried the waste in an empty lot there.
When the authorities came to the reported location, the owner of the truck had left.
The said location is a sparsely populated area with forest on one side and arable land on the other, where few people are cultivating.
During the investigation into the case, the authorities found out that a person who introduced himself as Nghia from Ho Chi Minh City rented an excavator and recruited an excavator driver from Nguyen Duc Thuy, a resident of Kien Thanh, in August.
|An excavator is seen at a medical waste landfill illegally established in Dak Nong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Dinh Cuong / Tuoi Tre|
Nghia told Thuy that the machine would be used to level the ground, bury micro-organisms, and fill pits for composting, and had Nguyen Nhu Hoang, hailing from Ho Chi Minh City, supervise the job.
Hoang directed the excavator driver to scoop the ground and bury more than 70 metric tons of solid waste carried on five tractor trailer trips on a total area of about 400 square meters in Kien Thanh between August 19 and 23.
Hoang already left the landfill while the authorities have yet to track down Nghia.
The owner of the land where the medical waste was dumped is identified as Dang Hoang Lam, who does not show up in the locality often.
Tran Quang Hao, deputy director of the Dak Nong Department of Health, stated that all private medical facilities and the health center in Dak R’lap District have followed proper waste treatment processes under strict supervision, with the use of two waste treatment furnaces.
Hao said that he is conducting a review of waste treatment at medical facilities across the province.