Solid waste forecast to surge
By Thoa Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
HANOI – It is forecast that Vietnam will discharge 44 million tons of solid waste annually by 2015, most of which comes from urban areas and industrial parks, according to the 2011 National Environment Report.
The report announced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on Tuesday revealed that the average volume of solid waste increased by 150-200% from 2003 to 2008, with urban solid waste rising 200% and industrial solid waste growing 181%.
At present, 28 million tons of solid waste is dumped annually, including a hefty 19 million tons discharged by households.
Statistics also indicate around 42-46% of the solid waste is released from urban areas, some 17% from industrial zones, and the remainder from rural areas, craft villages and health facilities.
Hoang Duong Tung, director of the monitoring and environmental information center of the Environmental Protection Agency under the environment ministry, said the annual solid waste volume would rise to 44 million tons in 2015.
The proportion of urban and industrial solid waste will further surge, by 51% and 22% respectively. In addition, the amount of hazardous waste will account for 18-25% of the solid waste generated in each area.
The report stated that solid waste collection, transport, treatment and disposal are a big challenge for a developing country like Vietnam.
Tung said the solid waste collection rate had increased significantly, but had yet to meet actual demand. The percentage of solid waste collected at urban areas, industrial parks and export-processing zones only reaches 80-82%.
The biggest challenge in dealing with solid waste is that waste is not sorted at source and is often mixed when collected, leading to haphazard waste recycling and treatment.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang said his ministry was assigned to compile an environment report for submission to the National Assembly and supply information concerning the environment to citizens.
The environment report will focus on a specific topic every year. This year it is focusing on solid waste, and an overview report is made every five years.