Many households in HCM City dispose of their waste on sidewalks without sorting their garbage first. – VNS Photo Diệp Phan
HCM CITY – The HCM City Department of Natural Resources and Environment has taken steps to ensure that 100 per cent of its domestic solid waste is collected and treated and at least 80 per cent of solid household waste is classified at source by 2025.
According to the department's Solid Waste Management Division, private waste collection units in 17 districts have changed to co-operatives or businesses for better management. Districts have also upgraded 25 per cent of their means of waste collection and transportation.
Lê Trương Tuấn Anh, the department chief, said one of the problems for solid waste management is the classification of waste at its source.
The city People's Committee issued regulations on the classification of solid waste at the source in 2018, but many households still do not sort their waste.
Some households sort their waste, but it ends up in the same place due to the lack of specialised vehicles for each category, including recyclables and other waste.
If all waste was classified at source and reused, the city could reduce 30 per cent of its daily amount of disposed of waste, Nguyễn Ngọc Lý, chairman of the Board of the Center for Environmental and Community Research, said.
The city in 2019 generated 9,400 tonnes of domestic solid waste daily, the highest in Việt Nam. Of that, 69 per cent was buried daily, while the remaining was recycled or burned to generate electricity each day, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
By 2025, the city plans to bury 2,600 tonnes of waste per day. It also targets having at least 80 per cent of domestic solid waste in urban areas recycled for compost fertilizer or burned for electricity.
However, Lý said the budget for burning garbage will be high since 70 per cent of domestic solid waste in Việt Nam is organic waste.
“We should choose other solutions that have lower costs but are still effective. One of them is to classify garbage at source," Lý added.
The real estate company Novaland has recently worked with the Packaging Recycling Organization Việt Nam to carry out a plan to sort and collect recyclable waste at source in Novaland’s residential areas in the city.
Bùi Xuân Huy, general director of Novaland Group, said the plan contributes material for recycling activities while reducing the amount of buried domestic solid waste.
“We aim to build a circular economic model, ensuring that waste is not released directly into the environment and is handled most effectively."
The city is also taking steps to adopt advanced waste-treatment technologies. It will invest in solid waste treatment with advanced technologies that save energy and protect the environment, and seek recycling technology that makes recycled products suited to the consumption habits of each locality.
Waste-treatment facilities have been encouraged to switch to waste-to-energy technologies. – VNS