On 1st December 2020, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc signed to issue Directive No. 41/CT-TTg on a few urgent measures to strengthen solid waste management.
The Directive clearly stated that over the past time, environmental protection work has been paid attention by the Communist Party and State and has achieved many important results. However, environmental pollution caused by solid wastes continues to increase, affecting human health and the sustainable development of the country. In some localities, the storage, gathering, transfer and treatment of domestic solid wastes (Hereinafter referred to as wastes) have not met the environmental protection requirements, leading to the appearance of environmental “hot” spots, causing the risk of social insecurity and unsafety.
The cause of the above situation is that local authorities have not paid adequate attention to the solid waste management in their areas; mechanisms and policies to mobilize resources from the society to participate in solid waste management, especially wastes, are still inadequate; the investment in waste collection, storage, gathering, transfer, transportation and treatment infrastructure has not met the actual situation; the classification of wastes at source just stopped at a pilot level in some localities, models have not been reviewed, evaluated and replicated; communication activities to raise awareness of the community have not been implemented regularly and continuously. In some localities, wastes are still mainly disposed of by landfill method or by small incinerators that do not meet the requirements of environmental protection while current regulations on treatment unit prices have not attracted investors to apply advanced and modern technologies. In addition, the state management over the past years has had an interference and overlap between Central and local agencies, which is not consistent with the principle of assigning only one focal agency to be responsible. The above-mentioned issues have been reducing the effectiveness and efficiency of solid waste management, especially waste management.
To overcome the limitations and shortcomings in the current solid waste management, also proactively prevent and minimize environmental pollution, create a fundamental change in solid waste management, in which focus on waste classification at source; in case of ineligible waste classification at source, priority should be given to the investment in treatment facilities with concentrated classifying stage before treatment; apply modern, advanced waste treatment technologies, make use of useful ingredients in wastes as raw materials, fuel, production materials, minimize the generation of secondary wastes that need treatment, the Prime Minister instructed:
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE): Review and revise legal documents according to its competence or submit to competent authorities for promulgation of documents related to solid waste management, pursuant to the Law on Environmental Protection (amended), develop, complete and issue technical and economic norms on waste collection, transportation and treatment and regulations on methods of pricing waste treatment services; expeditiously formulate and submit to the Prime Minister for consideration and approval of the national environmental protection plan in the first quarter of 2022, including contents of the orientation of the location and size of the concentrated solid waste and hazardous waste treatment areas at regional and national levels.
Strengthen solid waste treatment to ensure environmental sanitation
Ministry of Construction: Assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the MONRE to urgently develop technical standards and regulations on the design of the solid waste collection systems in accordance with the classification of wastes at source of commercial centers combined with apartments, condominiums combined with offices ... to plan and arrange waste gathering and transit points in urban centers and rural concentrated residential areas to ensure environmental sanitation.
Ministry of Finance: Prioritize the balance and allocation of environmental protection expenditures to support activities of classifying wastes at source, collecting, transporting and treating wastes in the annual budget plan. Focus on allocating funding to support localities that cannot balance their own budgets to completely handle environmental pollution at landfills seriously polluting the environment in public areas.
Chairpersons of the People’s Committees of the provinces and Centrally-run cities: Formulate and promulgate incentive mechanisms and policies to attract investment in waste treatment projects with advanced and modern technologies; simplify procedures for investment preparation, construction and operation of waste treatment facilities; review and assess existing waste treatment technologies in the area, request treatment facilities to have a roadmap to renew waste treatment technologies to meet environmental protection requirements, to be implemented before 2023; adopt a roadmap to gradually increase waste collection, transportation and treatment service prices in order to gradually reduce support from the State budgets; not restrict the collection and transportation of conventional industrial solid wastes and hazardous wastes from other localities to their respective localities for treatment according to regulations. Specify the form and amount of money that households and individuals have to pay for the collection, transportation and treatment of domestic solid wastes based on the weight or volume of wastes classified according to provisions of Law on Environmental Protection (amended), aimed at minimizing wastes generated and promoting the classification of wastes at source.
Provinces and Centrally-run cities, including Hà Nội, Hồ Chí Minh City, Đà Nẵng, Hải Phòng, Cần Thơ: Urgently invest in or put into operation waste treatment plants in the direction of modern, environmentally friendly technologies; strive to reduce the percentage of wastes treated by direct landfill method by the end of 2025 to below 20%. Other provinces: Strive to reduce the percentage of wastes treated by direct landfill method by the end of 2025 to below 30%; for rural areas, it is necessary to maximize the use of organic wastes for reuse, recycling, composting or self-treatment in households into compost; Local authorities: Also need to create favorable conditions for the Vietnam Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations to participate in, criticize and supervise solid waste management and treatment activities; actively provide information, promote the role of the media in solid waste management activities.