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Residents block garbage trucks from entering overloaded dump in southern Vietnam

Residents block garbage trucks from entering overloaded dump in southern Vietnam

Thursday, July 20, 2023, 15:01 GMT+7
Residents block garbage trucks from entering overloaded dump in southern Vietnam
Residents in Ba Tri District, Ben Tre Province, southern Vietnam hang banners to oppose the polluted An Hiep landfill and prevent garbage trucks from entering it. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Dozens of residents gathered on a road leading to the An Hiep landfill in Ben Tre Province, southern Vietnam in order to prevent garbage trucks from carrying trash to the already overloaded landfill.

Truong Thi Nhe, a 70-year-old resident of An Hiep Commune in Ba Tri District, where the landfill is located, said locals are fed up with the foul smell from the landfill and leakage from it spreading to nearby canals.

Nhe added that her family cannot afford tap water and has to use water from canals. As these canals are polluted, her family has no water source.

Similarly, Huynh Van Chau, another local resident, and his family are having their quality of life upended by the An Hiep landfill.

“Over the past year, garbage trucks heading to the An Hiep landfill have been on the rise. Sometimes there are 100 trucks in a single day. Garbage is piled up as high as a mountain," Chau complained.

“Wind has also blown trash onto the shrimp farms of households in the neighborhood, hindering their farming."

Leakage from the landfill has also spread to nearby rivers, reducing the volume of naturally born shrimp and fish.

Residents hang banners around the landfill to voice their objections to its use. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Residents hang banners around the landfill to voice their objections. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

A waste treatment plant earlier treated some 160 metric tons of garbage in Ben Tre City and Chau Thanh District under Ben Tre Province, according to Bui Minh Tuan, director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

However, local authorities shut the plant down and began calling on investment to tackle the pollution issues because it caused environmental pollution.

As a result, garbage discharged by Ben Tre City and Chau Thanh District is being temporarily buried at the An Hiep landfill.

Recent unusual weather patterns, with a lot of rain and a strong southwest monsoon, have caused wastewater to leak from the landfill and the odor from it to spread far and wide.

Though the management unit of the landfill is attempting to deal with the situation, some residents of An Hiep and An Duc Communes have been trying to prevent garbage trucks from entering the dumpsite, Tuan said.

Garbage at the An Hiep landfill spreads to a nearby road. The landfill management unit has now built a fence surrounding the site. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Garbage at the An Hiep landfill spreads to a nearby road. The landfill management unit has now built a fence surrounding the site. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

He affirmed that the transport of waste to the An Hiep landfill is just a temporary solution pending the resumption of the province’s waste treatment plant.

“The management unit has erected fences around the landfill and covered it to stop odor and waste from spreading to adjacent areas," Tuan added.

“There will be solutions for preventing leakage and force wastewater into appropriate areas to block it from flowing out of the landfill.

"The process will take 30 days.”

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Thanh Ha - Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre News

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