Saturday, September 21 2019

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Bắc Ninh struggles with illegal waste dumping

Update: July, 30/2019 - 10:17
Garbage piled up in Văn Môn Commune, Yên Phong District, Bắc Ninh Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Thái Hùng

BẮC NINH — Districts in the northern province of Bắc Ninh are being polluted by untreated industrial waste and local authorities have failed to come up with any solution so far to improve the situation, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

At a dumping site and along a dyke in Ngô Xá and Long Châu communes, Yên Phong District, broken glass, plastic and fabric are easily spotted. Smoke from burning waste often choked the local community.

The situation has been getting worse for a long time.

According to Nguyễn Hồng Thạch, deputy head of Long Châu Commune People’s Committee, people take advantage of night hours when the environmental protection team is off duty to dump their waste.

Nguyễn Văn Tán, head of Mẫn Xá Village in Yên Phong District’s Văn Môn Commune, said that since 2005, local residents have been importing untreated waste. Some companies even make deals with people to sell them garbage. Much of the unrecyclable waste is directly discharged into paddy fields and ponds, leaving many hectares of agricultural land barren.

The provincial police have handled 49 cases of environmental violations involving illegal transferring, receiving and discharging of solid industrial waste since the beginning of 2019.

Five companies were found to have discharged wastewater that does not meet environmental standards.

Earlier this month, Bắc Ninh Province Environment Police seized seven containers transporting 200 tonnes of broken electronic components.

Poor waste management and the lack of co-operation among related agencies have created opportunities for illegal waste disposal.

According to deputy head of Bắc Ninh Province Environmental Police Department Đoàn Phong Sơn, 25 waste treatment companies are licenced to operate; however, untreated waste is piling up because individuals keep buying garbage.

While factories are asked to signed contracts with these plants, the percentage of waste that is collected in industrial zones and traditional craft villages remains low.

Lưu Xuân Hùng, head of the provincial department of environment protection, urged collaboration between the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Environmental Police to share information and come up with preventative solutions to put an end to the illegal discharge of untreated waste.

Bắc Ninh Province is home to 16 industrial zones and 38 industrial areas on a total area of 10,000ha which annually generate some 48,000 tonnes of waste including 17,000 tonnes of hazardous waste. — VNS

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