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HCM City eyes economic gain from treating garbage at landfills

Ho Chi Minh City plans to treat garbage buried at three non-active landfills, the municipal People’s Committee has said.

Speaking at a meeting on August 10, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan said the city would also make urban development plans at these sites and nearby areas.

The city’s authorities have changed their mindset about waste treatment in recent years, he said.

“In the past, we only thought about burying garbage. But we can now generate economic benefit from garbage buried at the landfills," Hoan said.

Investors could earn money from treating the garbage and use the land to develop housing, golf courses and parks, he said.

Eight companies have expressed interest in exploiting Dong Thanh landfill and Go Cat landfill. 

The three landfills that have run out of space, Dong Thanh in Hoc Mon district, Go Cat in Binh Tan and Phuoc Hiep in Cu Chi district, cover a total area of 118ha. They contain nearly 22 million tonnes of buried garbage.

Dong Thanh uses a leachate treatment system but does not have a system for collecting gas from the garbage while the other two do.

Hoan said the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, and Planning and Investment have been instructed to draw up criteria for investment in treating landfills.

Investors could work along with city authorities to make urban development plans for these sites, which would be developed through public-private partnerships, he added.

Nguyen Thien Nhan, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, said the investors should bring in all the money required since the city would not.

They should ensure there is no environment pollution during the treatment of the landfill, he warned.

He instructed relevant agencies to finalise the bidding criteria within the next three months.

The city needs to be apprised about what technologies would be used and how much time and money the treatment would take, he added.

Nguyen Cong Hong, General Director of TDH Ecoland Urban Development and Investment Joint Stock Company, said he went to Go Cat and Dong Thanh landfills to survey them.

His company has experience treating buried garbage at the Soi Nam landfill in the northern province of Hai Duong, and would complete treatment of the garbage at the Go Cat landfill within two years, he said.

After that it would take one more year to develop it into a residential area, he added.

The city will complete two plants to generate energy from garbage in September and October this year. They would help resolve 70-80 percent of the city’s waste problem by 2025.

The city generates nearly 9,000 tonnes of garbage daily, most of which continues to go to landfills.

Nhan said the city needs a comprehensive plan for garbage treatment to reduce pollution and have more land for development.