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Village incinerators a threat to the environment, residents

Update: August, 21/2015 - 09:31
A small-scale incinerator in Tam Hong Commune, Yen Lac District, Vinh Phuc Province. A survey by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has revealed small-scale incinerators for everyday garbage in Viet Nam do not meet environmental safety standards. — Photo tienphong.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — A survey by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has revealed small-scale incinerators for everyday garbage, including plastic, in Viet Nam do not meet environmental safety standards.

Nguyen Thanh Yen, deputy director of the Waste Management and Environmental Improvement Department at the ministry, said most solid-waste burners were not equipped with emission treatment systems. They also used low temperatures for burning waste, which led to toxic gases being expelled into the air.

An incinerator at Tam Hong Commune, the first built in Vinh Phuc northern province, weighs 8.5 tonnes and is 145cm wide. It operates from 8am to 2pm every day. An incinerator worker said its operation was simple. Solid waste was separated before being burnt. Ashes were buried in the ground nearby.

Tran The Loan, from the Ministry's General Department of Environment said there was a high-risk of dioxin emission from incinerators burning plastic products.

"Polyethylene can be burned, but polyvinyl chloride (PVC ) is very toxic," he said.

Nguyen Chi Thiet, head of Yen Lac District's natural resources and environment office in Vinh Phuc Province said eight incinerators built from provincial budget funds were replacing the holes dug in each village to bury waste..

Most popular incinerators in rural Viet Nam are made locally.

Yen said advanced technology for solid waste treatment had existed for years, but it needed high investment. Cement-built incinerators were considered the ideal model for rural Viet Nam, he said.

The survey was a preparatory step by the ministry to producing a national criteria book on solid-waste incinerators.

The book, expected to be published by the end of this year, will provide important technological data for assessing incinerators. — VNS

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