The ‘billionaires’ waste recycling village is seriously polluted
VietNamNet Bridge - Scrap piles up right at the entrance gate to the village, and covers all canals, alleys and heaps up at houses. Schools are ‘attacked’ by waste and thick black smoke. 


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The waste recycling village is seriously polluted



The air is full of the smell of burning plastic in Minh Khai hamlet in Nhu Quynh town of Van Lam district, Hung Yen province, called the ‘billionaires’ waste recycling village’.

Soon after crossing the Hanoi-Hung Yen border, visitors enter the Hung Yen area. At the entrance gate to Minh Khai hamlet, a rusty signboard catches the eye. It says ‘Please don’t leave litter, build houses and grow plants on irrigation works. Violators will be punished”. The signboard is covered with waste.

Near the small bridge crossing the canal around Minh Khai Village is a security guard station which collects fees from vehicles going in and out of the village. 

The Hung Yen provincial environment department, after analyzing 12 surface water samples taken from Minh Khai village, found that all 12 samples could not meet the standards. 

Trucks and self-modified vehicles laden with big bags of garbage and scrap go in and out all day and night. The number of vehicles indicates that the total fee collected every day is not low.

The canal along Minh Khai Village is full of garbage and scrap. The waste water from production workshops goes through sewers and flows to the canal, looking red, yellow and violet. To block garbage, people have set up a row of bamboo poles.

In the village, garbage of different kinds, from scrap iron, waste rubber, and plastic bags to glass bottles, is everywhere. 

The residents said the scrap for recycling is brought there from all localities in Vietnam and from overseas as well. 

Most waste is from the Nam Son, Soc Son landfills, and Trieu Khuc and Phung Thuong villages. Each kilogram of preliminarily treated plastic bags is bought at VND2,000.

Minh Khai is believed to be the biggest waste importer in the country. 

Many consignments of pressed garbage, several cubic meters each, are brought to recycling workshops. They have different origins – China, Japan and South Korea.

At the workshops, the garbage of different kinds go through a ‘special’ treatment process to become household-use products. Most of the machines used there are very simple.

At a plastic bag recycling workshop, reporters saw grey matter flowing to the canals together with the water current, and solid waste stuck in drainage sewers.

The Hung Yen provincial environment department, after analyzing 12 surface water samples taken from Minh Khai village, found that all 12 samples could not meet the standards. 

The BOD5, COD and TSS concentration found in the samples were 1-7 times higher than the national standard. The NH4 indicator was 32.5 times higher than the permitted level.


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Kim Mai

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