Piles of trash are spotted around Hanoi in the last few days, as Nam Son trash site, the major destination for trash in Hanoi, is closed for at least 2 to 3 days, starting on 1/11/2021 to stabilise and control the waste water level.
The main reason for this closure is due to the increasing rain level between 20/10/2021 and 1/11/2021, with a total of 180mm. On 1/11/2021, the level water was just 20cm lower than the site bank, consequently, Nam Son site is required to stop receiving trash in case of continuous rain in the coming days. As the maximum capacity of the waste water treatment at Nam Son trash site is at just 2,800 m3 per day, the unusual long raining weather in the last few days threatens the safety and environmental hygiene of the site.
Currently, Nam Son trash site is receiving trash from 12 inner districts in Hanoi and the 5 suburbs including Me Linh, Soc Son, Thanh Tri, Gia Lam and Dong Anh, with a total amount of 5,000 to 5,500 tonnes per day, using burying waste method.
According to Nguyen Thanh Tung, CEO at Urban Environment Limited Company (URENCO), with the delay of the construction of waste-to- energy plant Thiên Ý, Nam Son trash site is facing higher pressure from the enormous daily waste of Hanoi, leaving only 1 small area to receive more trash till 31/12/2021. After this date, Nam Son site trash is no longer able to receive more trash. Additionally, people living around Nam Son site trash are facing with various health problems and deteriorating environmental condition.
For short term solutions, as URENCO will not take any responsibility if trash is still sent to Nam Son trash site, daily trash from Hanoi and the suburbs will be sent to other trash sites including Xuan Son trash site and waste-to-energy plant Soc Son.
Waste-to-energy plant Thien Y is expected to treat more than 90% of the amount of the current trash sent to Nam Son trash site, however, there is still not yet a fixed date for its opening. Nam Son trash site hence has to receive 76% more than the given quantity for 2021. Thien Y plant is facing a number of problems in recruiting skilled workers after the Covid-19 lockdown, delay in getting Chinese experts due to paperwork problems and increasing cost.
“Tram Anh is a Hanoi-based sustainability promoter and writer. She is on the mission to create a sustainability movement for SMEs in Vietnam. She is the founder of Good Human, an environmental group with engaging contents and campaigns related to sustainability and circular economy. Get in touch with Trâm Anh at email@example.com for collaboration and partnership!