QUANG NGAI (VNS)— Hundreds of people living near the Binh Nguyen Solid Waste Treatment Zone prevented lorries from transporting waste to their living area, as they believed that the zone was heavily polluting local air and water.
The 19-hectare zone, located in Binh Chanh Commune in the central province of Quang Ngai's Binh Son District, is managed by the Lilama Electrics, Mechanics and Environmental Corporation.
The zone opened for use in 2007 and received solid waste from the Dung Quat Oil Refinery Plant and other plants in the Dung Quat Economic Zone.
It has a capacity of 50-100 tonnes of daily waste per day, 25,000 tonnes of industrial waste per year and 30,000 tonnes of harmful waste per year.
The design includes one hole to bury daily and industrial waste, one kiln to burn harmful solid waste and a system to recycle waste, said Huynh Van Phuc, deputy director of the Lilama company.
Chairman of the Binh Chanh Commune People's Committee Tran Quang Tam said that when the treatment zone began operating, local residents thought that it would only deal with daily waste.
However, later industrial waste began to be continuously transported to the zone.
"The most serious issue is that the industrial waste was buried in a hole only 2km from the residential zone. Water from the hole ran into streams and fields, seriously affecting residents' health," said Tam.
Fish in streams died and many residents developed skin diseases, he added.
Whenever the waste is burnt, a nasty smell fills villages, so bad that local people get headaches and frequently vomit.
"We asked the company to move the waste-disposal hole farther from residential areas and stop discharging wastewater without treating it first," said Tam.
Lilama deputy director Phuc said the company had already set up a plan to treat the wastewater and then use it for watering trees and farm produce.
Every day the Binh Nguyen zone receives about 32 tonnes of daily waste, two tonnes of harmful waste and 18cu.m of industrial waste.
About 3cu.m of industrial waste is recycled to produce unbaked bricks per day. The remaining 15cu.m is buried.
"Burying is the only way to deal with the mud from the Dung Quat Oil Refinery since we don't have any more modern treatment," said Phuc.
The company aims to move the burying hole before June, he added. — VNS