Environmental sanitation workers collect garbage along a road in Hạ Long City, Quảng Ninh Province. VNA/VNS Photo Đức Hiếu
QUẢNG NINH – Hạ Long City, a popular tourist destination in the northern coastal province of Quảng Ninh, will implement a series of measures to classify, collect, transport and treat domestic and construction waste from early next year.
Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Vũ Văn Diện said the plans would be a long-term solution to improve urban environment and tackle the garbage crisis in the city in the past four months.
The city has asked local authorities of 12 wards and communes to allocate an area for treating domestic waste as microbiological fertilizer to serve agricultural production.
In the early days of this month, Hạ Long City was flooded with garbage. The garbage was dumped in large piles along roads and covered with canvas as garbage truck did not come to collect.
A disagreement on the financial settlement between local authorities and environmental enterprises kickstarted the crisis.
Indevco, the company in charge of collecting and treating waste in Hạ Long City has invested in a solid waste treatment centre with incinerator technology. The centre was expected to treat about 900 tonnes of solid waste per day from Hạ Long and Cẩm Phả cities.
However, due to problems in investment policy and planning adjustment, the project was behind schedule and the centre has not opened.
In the document sent to the provincial People’s Committee on May 26, Indevco admitted the domestic solid waste incinerator system, which was built by the domestic team, could not meet requirements. As a result, the company sought foreign corporations to get more modern and advanced technology, and access to the funding.
But the company could not find partners due to the complex legality of the project. It considered a plan to transfer the entire project, which failed because the offered transfer price was up to VNĐ300 billion (US$13 million).
On June 30, the company proposed a plan to donate the provincial People's Committee the entire value of land use rights, infrastructure and assets associated with the project. It also proposed the committee consider and introduce an investor to the company to transfer the project.
The company asked the committee to come up with policies to support the company with the cost invested to build and operate solid waste pits from November 2016 to April 2021. The amount was about VNĐ115 billion.
The provincial’s People’s Committee rejected the proposal, saying it was not in accordance with the provisions of current law.
In early May, the company stopped receiving garbage. The committee had an urgent plan to store domestic waste and assigned Judenco, another environmental enterprise, to build a temporary garbage pit.
In order to transport garbage to the temporary garbage pit, Judenco had to use the facilities at the solid waste treatment center managed by Indevco.
Early this month, Indevco did not allow Judenco to transport waste through its land, causing garbage to pile up across the city.
About 300 tonnes of waste is estimated to be discharged to the city every day.
On August 3, the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment decided to transport waste to Khe Giang Waste Treatment Plant managed by Việt Long Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company.
The plant located in the west of the city has capacity for treating 100 tonnes of garbage per day. Two more new furnaces with a capacity of 400 tonnes per day are being invested in, raising the total capacity of the plant to 600 tonnes per day.
According to the assessment of specialised agencies, Khe Giang Waste Treatment Plant is capable of treating a large amount of domestic waste in the city.
In addition, the city has completed the planning of a dumping site of about 28,500sq.m in Hòa Bình Commune. The dumping site can receive 200 tonnes of waste per day.
The city said it would work with local authorities on a roadmap for the pilot of collecting, classifying, transporting and treating domestic waste.
The provincial committee has asked agencies and the city’s committee to revise and work with representatives of Indevco to solve problems with the solid waste treatment centre construction project. VNS