Tuesday , May 28 2024

Waste sorting at home: a little act with a big impact


Environmental workers collect classified waste in HCM City. — Photo sggp.org.vn

HÀ NỘI — Every day for the last two years, Nguyễn Thị Nguyên has put organic waste like leftover vegetable scraps into a separate garbage bin.

When the bin is full, the resident from Nghĩa Vũ Village in the outskirts district of Đông Anh in Hà Nội will mix it with burned straw and caustic lime, cover the combination with earth and leave it for 30 days before using it as fertilisers for plants.

“Households here have sorted waste at home and recycled if possible. For organic waste like rotten or leftover vegetables, we will make homemade fertilisers from it. For others that are still usable, we sell it to scrap collectors,” Nguyên said.

Under the Law on Environmental Protection, waste sorting at home is a must starting from 2022.

According to the law, daily-life solid waste collection and transport establishments have the right to refuse to collect and transport solid wastes of households and individuals that do not separate them by type or fail to use the correct packaging, and notify the competent authority for inspection and handling in accordance with the law.

In 2021, Đông Anh District was the first in the capital city to implement a garbage classification model in all its communes.

Thanks to this model, the amount of garbage buried in landfill sites has reduced 50-70 per cent.

The daily amount of garbage in the district in 2021 also decreased by 12 tonnes compared to the previous year.

Lê Văn Minh, head of the veteran association of Nghĩa Vũ Village, said organic waste is a good source of fertiliser for vegetables.

Initially, the model is implemented in three communes of Liên Hà, Dục Tú and Việt Hùng and then expanded to other 21 communes and towns.

In 2021, the district generated nearly 240 tonnes of waste a day and much more on special occasions like holidays.

Nguyễn Anh Dũng, vice chairman of Đông Anh District, said: “After the pilot, we saw very active participation from the local people. They are better aware of the need to protect the environment and are willing to implement measures.”

HCM City has piloted the waste sorting model in some areas for 10 years and has implemented the model since 2018.

Bùi Diệu Tâm carefully places different garbage bags in front of her house to be collected by the environmental staff.

She has a bag for inorganic waste (for cans, plastic bottles, used papers), the other for organic waste (for leftover food) and one for metal or broken glass.

Households like Tâm in Alley 25 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm in District 1 have sorted garbage for seven years, and this has been their habit before transferring it to the garbage collector staff.

The classification only works if there is a good collaboration among different parties.

Hồ Thị Phú from District 3 in HCMC said though families sorted garbage, environmental workers put them all in place.

“So there’s no point in our garbage sorting,” she said.

In 2019, the city generated 9,400 tonnes of domestic solid waste daily, the highest in Việt Nam. Of that, 69 per cent was buried daily, while the remaining was recycled or burned to generate electricity, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

HCM City has two solid waste treatment complexes, the 614ha Đa Phước (in Bình Chánh District) and 687ha Phước Hiệp (in Củ Chi District).

Landfills require a lot of land, which puts tremendous pressure on the city with its limited availability.

The solid waste volume of the city is expected to continue to rise due to population growth, economic development and rapid urbanisation. 

Increasing the rate of recyclable waste using technology to make recycled products would help reduce the pressure on land.

The city targets collecting and treating 100 per cent of domestic solid waste and having at least 80 per cent of it classified at source by 2025 and 100 per cent by 2030. — VnExpress News


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