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Feb 05, 2023 / 09:36

Hanoi takes drastic action to handle solid waste

Being the heart of Vietnam, Hanoi has been promoting solid waste management while raising public awareness of environmental protection, helping the country reach the target of processing 96% of urban household waste in 2023.

Hanoi has taken drastic measures to boost the management of solid waste, which has not met the requirements of environmental protection, according to Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE) Mai Trong Thai.

Accordingly, the DONRE has issued a plan and taken action to strengthen the state management of solid waste in the capital city and raise the people’s awareness of the issue.

Previously, solid waste management in Hanoi was handled by the Department of Construction and DONRE, resulting in overlapping functions. Therefore, the DONRE has assumed primary responsibility for solid waste management in the capital from January 1, 2023.

He stressed that the DONRE undertook early in resolving the difficulties that have existed in recent times in the stages of collection, transportation, and treatment of solid waste in Hanoi.

Specifically, the people's committees of districts have closely monitored the treatment of solid waste in the area. So far, the rate of solid waste collection is approximately 100% and more than 90% in urban areas and rural areas, respectively.

"In order to further improve efficiency in environmental protection, DONRE is working on a proposal to the municipal People's Committee to adjust the solid waste treatment plant in Hanoi," Thai told The Hanoi Times.

The construction site of the Soc Son waste-to-energy plant in Hanoi’s outskirt district of Soc Son. Photo: Bao Minh

"Specifically, it is imperative to complete site clearance and resolve people's complaints to ensure reception capacity at the Soc Son waste-to-energy plant in Soc Son District on the outskirts of Hanoi," Thai said.

In addition, Hanoi needs to speed up the construction progress of the Seraphin waste-to-energy plant in the Xuan Son solid waste treatment area in Son Tay City, the deputy director noted.

Regarding waste collection and transportation, the DONRE official called on the people's committees of districts to continue improving the quality of environmental sanitation management. “The districts have to strictly handle violations on environmental sanitation, and closely coordinate with the DONRE and specialized agencies in transporting domestic solid waste. In the coming time, a data system on waste volume needs to be built to ensure publicity and transparency in solid waste transportation and treatment,” Thai said.

The DONRE has installed more garbage bins and public toilets, held communication activities to raise the people’s awareness of solid waste and launched an emulation movement for environmental sanitation such as planting more flowers in vacant land along roads and riversides to prevent garbage dumping.

The DONRE has also requested localities to set up hotlines and on-duty staff for on-time receiving feedback to handle promptly if there appear any related issues.

Vietnam sets target to process 96% of urban household waste in 2023

Hoang Van Thuc, Director of the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), said that Vietnam has targeted to collect and safely process 96% of urban household waste in accordance with standards this year.

 People are sorting plastic waste in Vietnam’s northern province of Tuyen Quang. Photo: Chu Khoi

"Currently, about 92% of industrial and processing sites in operation have concentrated wastewater treatment systems, while 40% of domestic waste will be processed through incineration, electricity generation, and recycling models instead of landfills," Thuc explained.

He noted that Vietnam's rapidly growing economy and population have resulted in a sharp increase in solid waste, so effective state management is now an urgent national requirement amid the growing volume of waste.

The Vietnamese Government has set a target of 100 % of solid waste to be safely collected and treated by 2050 as part of the national green growth strategy for 2021-2030 with a vision for 2050.

Under the strategy, 100% of urban areas will have their drainage systems completed to deal with flooding, all wastewater will be treated following technical standards by 2050.

By that time, at least 45 urban areas will have their own master plans for developing green-growth cities.

Director Thuc pointed out that in recent years, although the rate of household solid waste collection is increasing every year, it has not been able to fully manage the garbage due to a large amount of solid waste and low community awareness, while state management in waste treatment still has many shortcomings.