Waste treatment in rural areas plagued by overlapping management
VietNamNet Bridge - Management over solid waste treatment is being undertaken by many state agencies.


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Domestic waste from households, agencies, schools, office and public utilities includes 55-69 percent of biodegradable organic substances such as leftovers, agricultural by-products, vegetables and fruits. 

Between 7-16 percent is recyclable waste such as plastic, paper, plastic and scrap iron, which is collected by scrap dealers. Matter difficult to decompose accounts for 12-36 percent, mainly coal slag and broken bricks. 

Livestock waste contains nutrients for crops but it can spread germs, so it is listed as hazardous waste, often treated for agricultural fertilizer.

Of rural solid waste, only the waste from livestock and agricultural by-products are managed by households and production units, while the other types of waste are collected and treated in the same way, without classification.

Of rural solid waste, only the waste from livestock and agricultural by-products are managed by households and production units, while the other types of waste are collected and treated in the same way, without classification.

The General Directorate of Environment, which conducted a survey in all 63 provinces and first-class cities, found that in northern mountainous provinces, coastal provinces in the central region, the Central Highlands and Mekong River Delta, domestic solid waste was buried in the same places, while most landfills did not meet sanitary requirements.

In the Central Highlands, open landfills are located in valleys, some of which are located near water sources which cause pollution to the lower course. 

Meanwhile, in the Mekong Delta, as there is no embankment on the landfills, they will become inundated in the flood season. In the dry season, waste is burned. 

The environment general directorate found that periodic waste collection is implemented in 60 percent of hamlets and communes. Self-managed waste collection units are present in 40 percent of communes, but only 40-55 percent of domestic waste in rural areas can be collected.

According to the Ministry of Construction, 35 solid waste treatment plants in urban areas had been put into operation by November 2016, which had total capacity of 7,500 tons per day. There were 50 incinerators that burn domestic solid waste, mostly small-scale with the capacity of less than 500 kilograms per hour. There were also 660 landfills throughout the country with total area of 4,900 hectares. The figure did not include many small landfills located in communes.

Of these, only 203 landfills satisfied sanitary requirements.

According to Tran Ngoc Ngoan from the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, in most rural areas, the collection and transport of solid waste is undertaken by cooperatives and self-managed units which provide services under negotiations with local residents.

As the units do not receive support from local authorities, they have to buy collection tools themselves and receive modest incomes of VND400,000-600,000 a month.


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Nam Mai

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