Viet Nam News
HÀ TĨNH — Residents of Hương Khê Town in Hà Tĩnh Province have blocked garbage trucks’ access to the local landfill for the past 10 days, to protest the use of the overflowing dump.
The protest has led to waste accumulation in the area, and all waste treatment activities have come to a halt, worsening the already bad situation in Hương Khê District.
All solid waste generated by Hương Khê Town is handled by Hương Khê Urban Environment Co-operative, whose job is to collect the garbage and haul it to Trại Lợn (Piggery) landfill, located in the district’s Gia Phố Commune.
However, after 16 years of operation, the 10,000 sqm landfill had run out of space.
At least 20 households in the vicinity of the landfill had been complaining persistently about foul smells and swarms of flies and insects, and had blocked garbage trucks from entering the landfill several times. They demanded that the Hương Khê District People’s Committee shut down the overflowing landfill.
Finally, on April 5, Lê Ngọc Huấn, chairman of the district People’s Committee, organised a meeting with affected households and promised to close the landfill by May 30. A new landfill, located in Hương Thuỷ Commune, was to become operational in early June.
However, the construction of the new landfill fell behind schedule, and on May 26, the People’s Committee notified residents that the Trại Lợn landfill will continue to operate until the new landfill is ready.
Unhappy with the plan, the affected residents started blocking the trucks again.
Phan Công Thức, director of Hương Khê Urban Environment Co-operative, said that for the past 10 days, his garbage trucks have been lying stationary as residents have blocked entry to the landfill, and waste in Hương Khê Town is piling up.
Đặng Thị Hà, a vendor in Sơn market, complained to the Thanh niên (Youth) newspaper that the uncollected trash has “discouraged customers from visiting the market” as it is unhygienic.
Huấn has requested provincial authorities and all concerned agencies to facilitate the construction of the new landfill and get it running as soon as possible. “We have tasked the environment department with helping the Hương Khê Urban Environment Co-operative use probiotics or disinfectants to treat the collected waste in an eco-friendly manner, as well as issued instructions to residents on how to handle waste properly,” he said. — VNS