Co To Island faces environmental problems as waste mounts
VietNamNet Bridge - The face of Co To has changed rapidly in recent years with many new hotels and guesthouses, and more aquatic cultivation and processing units established. However, strong economic development has brought environmental consequences.


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Economic development has brought environmental problems



After Co To began receiving electricity from the national grid, it became a dynamic economic zone with a fast growing tourism industry.

Co To has 40 islands, including three big islands – Co To (1,780 hectares), Thanh Lan (1,887) and Tran (512).

Co To discharges 17 tons of domestic waste. The figure is 30 tons in the tourism season. It also has to receive a large volume of garbage discharged by ships and boats.

Residential quarters, urban areas, jellyfish processing workshops, tourism service areas and markets are the major sources of waste.

The volume of domestic waste water is relatively high, about 250 cubic meters per day on ordinary days and 800-900 cubic meters in tourism season. 

The volume is especially high from January to March. There are 36 jellyfish processing units in the island district.

Locals are also worried about the degradation of water reservoirs and the water supply system. 

As C4 and Chien Thang Reservoirs were built many years ago and the water treatment system is getting old, they can only satisfy the demand of local residents. 

Meanwhile, the number of tourists flocking to Co To in the tourism season has risen.

To settle the environmental problems, the local authorities have given financial support to households to buy garbage cans and collect waste, while the district’s Youth Union has raised  funds for environmental protection at restaurants and hotels. 

Several years ago, Co To spent big money on a waste incinerator. However, it is no longer capable of treating waste in new circumstances.

At present, the local districts are running two projects on restricting the use of plastic bags and sorting waste at source. 

Five waste transshipment stations in Dong Tien commune have been put into operation. And a series of ‘cleaning sea water’ and ‘protecting the environment’ campaigns have been run.

However, the problems remain serious because of limited budgets to implement the programs and the habit of locals and tourists of littering.

Thr provincial authorities have allocated money to Co To district to cover expenses on waste collection & treatment. However, the allocation is based only on the number of residents. 


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Nam Mai

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