Inconsistent prices, high fees hinder bulky waste treatment

June, 15/2022 - 08:37

Although there are multiple companies that offer waste collection services, inconsistent prices and high shipping fees are still significant obstacles to deal with the problems of garbage treatment in HCM City. 

A bulky waste collecting point in Ward 10, Phú Nhuận District, HCM City. — Photo sggp.org.vn

HCM CITY — Although there are multiple companies that offer waste collection services, inconsistent prices and high shipping fees are still significant obstacles to deal with the problems of garbage treatment in HCM City. 

Nguyễn Văn Tính, a resident in Tân Bình District, said: “We renovated our house last lunar new year holiday, changing out furniture, toilets and even ceilings. 

“The local waste collection service quoted VNĐ600,000 (US$25.9) per trip. It was too expensive, so I called a three-wheeler to help take the garbage away for VNĐ200,000 (US$8.6). 

“To be honest, I don’t know where they took the trash to.”

According to the statistics from HCM City Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the city produces up to 9,500 tonnes of household waste each day.

Bulky and construction waste makes up 1,700 tonnes of the total amount, but only a small percentage is collected and handled correctly. 

While the amount of bulky waste is increasing, people and collecting services are struggling in waste treatment, due to unclear price ranges.

To have this type of garbage collected, according to regulations, people must pay extra fees for transport and have to negotiate the prices themselves with the collectors.

Facing a high service charge, people would often hire three-wheelers to help discard these bulky items. Most of the trash would then end up on the sidewalks, under bridges, or along canals.

Bùi Thị Lan, a District 12 resident said that every year when her family clear out old bulky items from their house, they have to divide the trash into smaller pieces and put them together with household waste.

Several times, they would also call a three-wheeler to help put the large-size trash away.

Lan said: “We had no other way. I had put it next to the trash can in the area many times, but no one collects it. 

“The shipping fee to collection units is very high. There should be a more reasonable price range to encourage people to use official services.”

According to Cao Văn Tuấn, a representative of HCM City Urban Environment Company Limited, a majority of public utility companies in districts now collect bulky waste, but are operating below capacity as people did not dispose of their garbage at the designated collection points.

High shipping fees and inconsistent prices have led to the situation where people carelessly dump garbage into the environment.

Meanwhile, there are still areas that excel in waste collection. For instance, Phú Nhuận District has been the pioneer in advocating and collecting bulky waste from residents in the area.

Each of the district’s wards has a designated point that allows people to bring in their garbage, which will then be collected and treated by public utility companies. 

Among these, Ward 10 even takes a further step to collect hazardous waste and used batteries once to twice per month, starting from 2022.

Lê Đình Thanh Sơn from the ward’s office for construction - urban - environment, said that since the campaign went into operation, there had been a significant decrease in litter in the area.

Cao Văn Tuấn said: “In order to solve the issues of bulky waste treatment in HCM City, I think there should be a project to establish a coherent collection network that spans every district and Thủ Đức City.

“Then each area should have a fixed collection point for bulky waste in the residential area, and after that public utility companies in each district and Thủ Đức City can collect and transport the garbage to the treatment facility for correct disposal.

“A planned schedule for implementation and reasonable pricing will foster cooperation from the people and make it convenient for them. 

“We are also ready to invest in technology and equipment to handle this huge amount of bulky waste.” — VNS

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