Mekong Delta struggles with urban waste treatment

Treatment of urban waste is proving to be a challenge for Mekong Delta provinces because the operation of many garbage treatment plants has been delayed due to disputes over pricing and investors are shying away since it is not a lucrative business.


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Phuong Thao company built a garbage treatment plant in Vinh Long at the end of 2011, but had to wait until mid-2015 to operate it since it could not agree on pricing with the province. 


There is no treatment plant in Can Tho City or An Giang Province, while Kien Giang Province has only one out of a total of four proposed plants and Ca Mau Province can only treat 140 tonnes of waste a day.

Together they generate 5,000 tonnes of waste daily and this is expected to go up to 7,500 tonnes by 2020.

Ca Mau’s master plan envisages building four treatment plants in Ca Mau City and Cai Nuoc, Dam Doi and U Minh districts.

“But we only have an investor for the plant in Cà Mau City,” Doan Quoc Khoi, director of the province’s Department of Finance, told Youth newspaper.

“This is an unattractive field and it is hard to find investors. Garbage treatment has become a burden on local resources.”

The city pays VNĐ350,000 (US$15) to treat a tonne of rubbish, but it costs the operator of the treatment plant VNĐ460,000 ($20.5).

The plant produces fertilisers but has been unable to sell it.

With losses piling up, the operator wants to hand over the plant to the province, but authorities do not want to take it over.

In Can Tho, the delta’s largest city, burning and burying are two methods used to treat garbage since it has no treatment plants yet.

The city generates 650 tonnes a day and only burns 390 tonnes. The rest is buried and causes severe pollution.

Irate residents around the O Mon waste dump often stop garbage trucks from entering it.

A proposal to set up a plant to treat 400 tonnes of waste a day has been submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for approval.

“Can Tho City and the Mekong Delta have not got any modern waste treatment plants,” Prof Dr Le Anh Tuan from Can Tho University said.

“Besides the plant waiting for approval, the city [Can Tho] should find more investors to cope with the increasing rubbish.

“Provinces should have common waste treatment plants to reduce costs if they cannot find investors for plants in each province.”

Kien Giang plans to build at least four waste treatment plants including in Phu Quoc Island, but has only one now near Rach Gia City which handles around 200 tonnes a day.

Vinh Long is one of the few provinces in the delta to have a waste treatment plant. However, while Phuong Thao Company built the plant in Vinh Long City by the end of 2011, only in May 2015 did it begin operations because of a dispute over the rates.

Until it finally opened, Vinh Long faced many crises because its two-hectare dump with a capacity of 86,000 tonnes of waste had piled up 80,000 tonnes by August 2015.

While 150 tonnes of garbage came daily from Vinh Long City and six districts and towns, the dump refused to accept any of it until the plant opened.

In Long An Province, people have suffered from severe pollution for a long time since the Tam Sinh Nghia waste treatment plant does not have enough waste incineration capacity.

The plant has been licensed to recycle plastic scrap to produce fertilisers, but with production equipment not installed, it has to transport some of the garbage to Cu Chi District in HCM City and burn the rest.

Between 2012 and 2014, the plant received 100-120 tonnes of garbage daily from Tan An City and Chau Thanh and Tan Tru districts.

After that it began to receive 160-180 tonnes of waste from Bến Lức, Đức Hoà and Tân Thạnh districts, and its incinerator could no longer handle it.

Across the delta, in the absence of treatment plants, garbage is mostly collected and buried in opened dumps along major roads. 

VNS

Mekong Delta struggles with urban waste treatment, environmental news, sci-tech news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news
 
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