According to Decree 45 on the Penalty of Environmental Administrative Violations, from August 25, 2022, individuals and households who fail to sort household waste from sources will be fined VND 500,000 to VND 1 million ($20-$40).
This is one of the most recent regulations promoting the process of sorting waste at source under the Environmental Protection Act 2020, with provisions related to the collection and treatment of household waste and the environment, making full use of of recyclable resources. This is another great effort by the government to tackle Vietnam’s growing waste problem, as in 2006 Hanoi conducted a pilot project of waste separation at source funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). With the aim of reducing, recycling and reusing waste, the project achieved many remarkable results (a 30% reduction of waste to landfills), but within just 3 years the project had to stop because JICA stopped sponsoring the program .
There are no different bins for waste sorting yet (photo: vovgiaothong)
While a number of households and individuals have worked hard to sort and bag waste into different types, most bags are then dumped in the same truck when taken to collection points, eliminating the whole effort of sorting waste before. go .
For example, when Hanoi tried the waste sorting trial earlier, the suggested options to use color garbage bags were green bags for organic waste, black/red bags for inorganic waste, or hourly landfill. However, the efficiency after the trial was not high as people were able to sort waste at the source, but the collectors only used one collection vehicle to collect them all at the collection point. Garbage trucks again put all sorts of sorted garbage bags in the vehicle and took it to the landfill. This fact has prevented a number of people from continuing to sort their waste. The government should therefore definitely focus on setting up a new waste collection system, with different bins and trucks for different types of waste, and the waste collectors can refuse to collect waste if it is not properly sorted.
The garbage truck has only one compartment, which makes the waste classification of the people meaningless (Photo: Sy Dong)
Specific solutions for waste sorting at source are still insufficient, especially in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Can Tho. While most people are willing to sort waste at source according to the type of bags that the projects or the government distribute, most households are nevertheless, as the specific instructions on how to sort waste at source or how to collect garbage bags are still vague, having trouble understanding the habit and continuing.
Furthermore, the characteristic of most major cities in Vietnam is that there are many small alleys and streets, which are not suitable for city planning by means of crates. Due to the limited amount of waste transport vehicles, when collecting, trucks need to combine the sorted and unclassified waste to get sufficient transport volume. On the other hand, since most of the residential area of families in Hanoi is often small, leaving 2 classified trash cans in the house does not make people very pleasant. Placing large waste bins for collection and sorting in residential areas also faces many obstacles, especially from companies because they don’t want their front view to look bad.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong, environmental officer in the Department of Urenco Hoan Kiem, confided to us: “It is only on radio and television, but in reality, how to collect, there is no specific plan, no plan has reached us yet.”
Ms Ngo Thi Loan, deputy director of the communication and recycling center of Urenco Hanoi, explained this issue and said that the company is currently waiting for the guidance of the city to develop an implementation plan: “Urenco Hanoi is still working implemented according to the order of the city and according to the investor’s mechanism, so we are still waiting for the plans and instructions from the authorities, because it is not clear yet, it is very difficult for Urenco to properly plan the execution of the project. ”
In addition to the regulations on the level of fines as introduced, it is necessary to study the sanctions and the sanctioning process – who monitors and supervises? who has the right to punish? Without specific guidance and handling methods, the new rule may not have much of an impact as it could in creating a new habit for Vietnamese.
Decree 45/2022 stipulates that authorities, organizations and owners of production, business and service establishments that produce ordinary industrial solid waste shall:
- A fine of between 500,000 and 1 million VND for households and individuals who do not sort their daily solid waste according to the regulations.
- A fine of between 3 and 5 million VND for not having a record of handing over industrial solid waste that should normally be handled according to regulations before any transfer.
- A VND 20-25 million fine for failing to classify ordinary industrial solid waste at source as prescribed; equipment and tools for the storage of solid industrial waste normally do not meet the technical requirements for environmental protection.
- The maximum fine for an administrative violation of environmental protection is VND 1 billion for individuals and VND 2 billion for organizations. The statute of limitations for sanctioning administrative violations in the field of environmental protection is 2 years.
Through Tram Anh Pham
“Trâm Anh is a sustainability promoter and writer from Hanoi. She is the founder of good person, an environmental group with compelling content and campaigns related to sustainability and the circular economy. Contact Trâm Anh at firstname.lastname@example.org for cooperation and partnership!