Thursday,  Nov 15, 2018,13:08 (GMT+7) 0 0
No way to cope with toxic waste
The Saigon Times Daily
Monday,  Nov 5, 2018,13:59 (GMT+7)

No way to cope with toxic waste

The Saigon Times Daily

Waste containers pile up at Cat Lai Port in HCMC - PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Addressing a question-and-answer session at the sixth sitting of the National Assembly, Tran Hong Ha, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, suggested assigning certain enterprises to manage and sell the waste abandoned at local ports within two months. However, no one would buy the toxic waste, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

In particular, Ha said, of the backlog of waste containers, up to 58% of them did not have legal import papers. They were smuggled containers, Ha added, suggesting inspection agencies should promptly handle the problem.

Besides this, Ha proposed appointing capable enterprises to first classify waste in line with prevailing regulations and then put it up for auction to help eliminate the waste backlog.

Dinh Ngoc Thang, head of the HCMC Customs Department, pointed out that if customs agencies had failed to proactively enforce tight controls on waste imports and stop scrap imports to Vietnam, more waste would have been shipped to the country thanks to the permits previously issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and local environment departments.

Thang said the majority of the waste abandoned at the port reported by the environment management agency belonged to enterprises that had received environmental accreditation from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to import waste for production purposes. However, as the imported scrap was not used as production material, these firms could not take delivery of it, leading to the backlog.

Environment expert Phan Van Hien said the conditions for the ministry’s environmental accreditation was quite lax because 50% out of the 200 enterprises licensed to import scrap were not able to process it.

Waste imported into Vietnam prior to the Government's Directive 27/2018 on solutions to enhance the management of the import and use of waste as production material failed to be delivered to its owners as these owners did not have the processing license, Hien stressed. Also, Hien said it was impossible to handle such a large amount of waste within two months.

Logistics expert Nguyen Ly Truong An said it was necessary to review import licenses issued earlier as well as the licensing process, suggesting that waste buyers and importers who have no license should now take responsibility for the waste backlog.

Sharing this opinion, Dinh Ngoc Thang insisted that the cost of VND50 million to manage each of the waste containers should be paid by the owners of the abandoned waste containers. Thang also stressed that the ministry should not mix up recyclable waste with unrecyclable waste. Thang proposed setting up an organization to control and handle smuggled waste.

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