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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Garbage is being wasted in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – Millions of tons of garbage have been thrown away every year. Meanwhile, this could be a potential source of energy.
Vietnam, garbage, waste treatment, technology, pollution

Garbage supply profuse in Vietnam

A report by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) showed that Vietnam generates 17 million tons of waste every year, including the 6.5 million tons from urban areas.

Hanoi discharges 5,000 tons of solid waste every day, while the figure is believed to increase by 15 percent per annum. HCM City generates 7,500 tons of waste a day, which costs VND235 billion a year to treat the waste. At present, 98 percent of the waste have been dumped, a rudimentary method which causes a big land waste and the pollution to the earth and water.

According to Nguyen Thanh Lam from MONRE, only 15 percent of the total 23,000 tons of domestic garbage discharged everyday in Vietnam has been recycled, turned into compost fertilizer.

Turning garbage into power, why not?

Masanori Tsakahara from Hitachi Sozen, a Japanese company, said that if a garbage treatment factory runs 8,000 hours a year, and the electricity sale price is $0.05-0.2 per kwh on average, the garbage treatment cost would be about $40 per ton.

The high cost would make state owned units shrink back. It seems that with the current resources, it’s really very difficult for Vietnam to follow a program on building the factories that turn garbage into energy.

However, the implementation of such a program proves to be inevitable, which means that Vietnam needs to set up the factories, sooner or later.

Firstly, dumping garbage should be seen as a temporary measure only, because this would leave bad consequences to the earth and water sources. The natural land area would be narrowed in the context of the increasingly high amount of garbage.

The land in HCM City, Hanoi, or other big cities has become more and more expensive. The rapid urbanization process has also led to the narrowing of the land in the suburbs. This also means that Vietnam does not have much more land area for garbage to be dumped.

Secondly, the garbage dumping would harm the underground water sources. Scientists say solid waste, domestic garbage with high toxicity would poison the underground water and the earth, despite the active treatment of garbage before dumping.

Thirdly, Vietnam needs more and more power for its industrialization and transport development. A report says that the total demand for commercial energy in Vietnam increases by 7 percent per annum in the years from 2010 to 2025, while the demand for electricity would increase by 15 percent.

Waste to Energy, or WtE, the technology that burns solid waste to create energy, has been developed in many countries in the world. Most recently, Malaysia stated it has succeeded in the investments in WtE. Kangjang, a factory that uses RDF waste, has been built. This is one of the six leading WtE factories in the world.

In Vietnam, scientists have estimated that the burning of 9,200 tons of garbage out of the total 23,000 tons every day (40 percent) would generate 200MW of electricity.

They said that Vietnam should learn Malaysia’s lesson in building waste treatment factories. Regarding the financial resources, the scientists have suggested applying the PPP (private public partnership) model.

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