Cumbersome administrative procedures and irrational fees are hindering private sector participation in solid waste management.— Photo trangvangvietnam.com
HÀ NỘI — Cumbersome administrative procedures and irrational fees are hindering private sector participation in solid waste management, experts say.
Nguyễn Đức Thành, director of the Việt Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), said State agencies were still playing the key role in collecting and treating solid waste, accounting for 60 per cent of the sector’s revenue.
He said that most of the contracts for collecting and treating solid waste were either for one year or three years. This was too short a duration for private firms, making them reluctant to invest in the sector. It was difficult to recoup investments in machinery and equipment in such a short time, Thành said.
Furthermore, the waste collection fee was very low at between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent of a household’s average monthly income, he added.
According to the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the volume of municipal solid waste generated has risen rapidly from 12.8 million tonnes in 2004 to 29 million tonnes last year.
Between 2008 and 2015, urban areas accounted for 45 per cent of the solid waste generated. Industrial production accounted for 17 per cent and the rest came from rural areas.
The total volume of solid waste generated from daily activities in urban areas has been increasing by between 10 and 16 per cent per year on average, it is estimated.
The waste is commonly dumped in landfills and open dumps.
Thành said that under the current policy on capital allocation for solid waste management, the volume of waste will not reduce; instead, it will increase rapidly.
Enterprises are paid according to the volume of waste generated, he explained, meaning that residents are not responsible for the cost of solid waste they create.
A VEPR research team, who carried out an assessment of municipal solid waste management in Việt Nam, suggested that households be made responsible for the cost of solid waste management generated by them, including collecting, transporting and treating the waste.
Policies on waste collection fees in cities should be flexible and allowed to increase, the team said, suggesting an initial increase to about 1 per cent of average per capita income.
The team also suggested a seven-year-term for contracts signed by provinces and cities with private firms engaged in waste collection and transportation.
Local authorities should supervise the entire waste collection and disposal process and facilitate investment in modern solid waste treatment plants of high capacity, the team said. — VNS