|Waste collected from a quarantine facility in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM City — HCM City has licensed three more companies with approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to collect and treat COVID-19-related wastes to cope with their sharp increase as the pandemic continues unabated.
The three are Mộc An Châu Company, Saigon Green Biotechnology Company and Tâm Sinh Nghĩa Investment Development JSC.
Nguyễn Toàn Thắng, director of the city’s Natural Resources and Environment, said the growing volumes of wastes generated at quarantine facilities and field hospitals are creating enormous pressure on the city’s waste treatment system.
The HCM City Urban Environment Company Limited (CITENCO) and Việt Úc Environment JSC were the sole companies tasked earlier to collect and treat wastes from the city’s 151 quarantine facilities and field hospitals.
The volumes have risen to around 70 tonnes on average per day, well above their capacity.
If the wastes are not handled promptly, they would harm the environment and possibly spread the virus in the community, Thắng said.
Mộc An Châu Company has two industrial waste incinerators each with a capacity of 1,000kg of waste per hour.
Saigon Green Biotechnology Company has two hazardous-waste incinerators with a similar capacity.
Tâm Sinh Nghĩa Investment Development JSC at the Tây Bắc (Northwest) Waste Treatment Complex in Củ Chi District has 14 incinerators to treat domestic solid waste.
The combined capacity of all five waste treatment companies is around 120 tonnes per day.
Mộc An Châu and Saigon Green Biotechnology have each started to collect around 10 tonnes of waste daily.
The department is working with quarantine facilities, field hospitals and other relevant agencies using social networks like Zalo and Viber to report their daily work, quickly handle wastes and promptly resolve problems.
They have established a task force for improving and monitoring garbage collection and treatment.
CITENCO has been instructed to look for solutions for unexpected increases in medical wastes.
The company said it functions 24 hours a day with three hazardous-waste incinerators, treating some 42 tonnes of waste daily.
Waste will be collected five or six times a day at places generating large quantities, and once a day if the volumes are smaller.
Stringent safety standards are followed with all waste collectors wearing face masks and protective clothing and spraying disinfectants before collecting wastes and after arriving at the treatment facilities.
The ash from the incineration will be solidified and buried in a place earmarked for hazardous wastes. — VNS