Recently, the implementation of domestic solid waste management and treatment in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province has been interested, but so far there are still many difficulties and challenges. Under the pressure of increasing domestic solid wastes, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province is developing a roadmap to 2021, which will convert its plan of domestic solid waste treatment from landfill to incineration and recycling. Environment Magazine has conducted an interview with Mr. Đặng Sơn Hải, Deputy Director of Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province on the implementation of these solutions in the Province, gradually restricting domestic solid waste treatment from landfill.
Mr. Đặng Sơn Hải, Deputy Director of Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province
VEM: Could you tell us the status of collecting, transporting and treating domestic solid wastes in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province in the recent time?
Mr. Đặng Sơn Hải: Currently, the amount of domestic solid wastes generated in the Province is about 950 tons/day. In particular, the amount generated on the mainland of 7 cities and districts, including Vũng Tàu, Bà Rịa cities, Phú Mỹ Town and Châu Đức, Long Điền, Đất Đỏ, Xuyên Mộc Districts is collected and hygienically landfilled at Tóc Tiên Centralized Solid Waste Treatment Area with an average amount of about 850 tons/day. The remaining amount in Côn Đảo island district of about 12 tons/day is collected and transported to Bãi Nhát area for storage; some are burnt locally by small incinerators (about 5 tons/day), the rest continues to be stored here by dumping (up to now, the amount of residual wastes is up to about 72.000 tons).
The organization for collection and transportation of domestic solid wastes in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province is mainly conducted by urban environmental service companies, additionally by several private companies and collection teams established by local people (implemented mainly in densely populated urban areas). Means of collection and transportation used include many different types, in addition to specialized vehicles, there are light trucks converted, modified ... that ensure safety for this work.
VEM: As the Province has islands and mainland, so are there any difficulties in the process of investing in the construction of domestic solid waste treatment areas?
Mr. Đặng Sơn Hải: According to the Domestic solid waste planning of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province to 2025, vision to 2030 approved in Decision No. 1880/QD-UBND dated 20th August, 2013 and the Decision No. 2553/QD-UBND dated 19th September 2016, solid waste treatment is planned in three main areas: Tóc Tiên Centralized Solid Waste Treatment Area in Phú Mỹ Town with completed technical infrastructure in an area of about 137 ha; Láng Dài Centralized Waste Treatment Area in Đất Đỏ District with an area of 52 ha (Phase 1 of the project is planned with an area of 20 ha to implement the domestic solid waste treatment project applying landfill method with roadmap for putting the project into operation in 2019) and the domestic solid waste treatment plant with burning technology in Côn Đảo District is being planned for investment.
In the recent time, thanks to timely planning with the support of the province on incentive policies, the socialization of waste treatment has been promoted, contributing to solving most of the environmental problems arising in the solid waste management and treatment in the Province. Since then, domestic solid wastes have been moved from open and unhygienic landfill sites to hygienic landfill sites, towards other environmentally friendly solutions, economical and efficient use of resources such as recycling (composting), incineration combined with exhaust gas treatment, electricity generation, ensuring compliance with environmental technical regulations.
However, the implementation of the provincial policies also faces many challenges. With the business objective of maximizing profits, the investors of domestic solid waste treatment projects in the Province mainly choose the hygienic landfill method, because this type of project is easy to implement, has lower investment and operating costs than other methods, requires less implementation time and skilled labour force with intensive training ... Meanwhile, incentive policies on investment in waste treatment so far are no longer suitable, making difficulties to handle practical problems, especially since the exemption of land use fees is applied to all types of waste treatment without discrimination (priority, encouragement, restriction, ban...), that has become a major barrier and not motivated the implementation of the provincial policies.
Besides, waste treatment is a type of activity with many potential risks to the environment. In order to prevent and minimize impacts, the control and assessment of technology level of the project are required. However, due to the lack of information in defining criteria to prevent and eliminate outdated technologies with significant emissions and energy consumption, so the technology appraisal for selection of investment projects has faced many obstacles.
VEM: How do you assess the projects of incineration to recover energy currently being implemented in some localities across the country? What is the Province's plan to implement a roadmap to convert waste treatment models as well as incentive mechanisms for businesses to invest in this area?
Mr. Đặng Sơn Hải: The request for conversion of waste treatment method as (hygienic) landfill that requires large land funds to treatment by other methods that save more efficient use of land such as recycling wastes combined with composting to recover biogas or incineration to recover energy is an indispensable trend in waste management of localities in the country today.
The results of visits and surveys in some localities such as the two projects of waste treatment plants in Cần Thơ (Everbright International Company) and Quảng Bình (Vietnam Project Development Co., Ltd) in April 2019 show that these are waste treatment projects with scientific management processes, advanced technological equipment, environmentally friendly treatment solutions, rational and efficient use of resources, mostly land resources. Moreover, the project in Quảng Bình also has the advantage of combining solar power generation and the practice area of high-tech agricultural production model in the project space, increasing the efficiency of land use. This reality has completely changed the view that previously, waste treatment projects with advanced and modern technology lines fully transferred by investors from abroad for investment in Việt Nam are not feasible, due to the huge and inefficient investment costs (because wastes are not segregated at source). Therefore, these models can be considered as a basis for Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province to call for investment and assess the feasibility of the projects (on environmental protection requirements and technology level of the projects) in deciding investment policies.
In terms of management, in order for the waste treatment to be effective, in parallel with the implementation of mechanisms and policies to encourage enterprises to invest in waste treatment according to regulations, the selection of investment projects under the provincial policies to convert the current domestic solid waste treatment method will be used as a basis for the selection of investment projects by Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province.
VEM: In the coming time, is there any solution of Province to improve the effectiveness of solid waste management in the area?
Mr. Đặng Sơn Hải: All current domestic solid wastes in the province are hygienically landfilled in the landfill area of KBEC Vina Co., Ltd. (Tóc Tiên Centralized Waste Treatment Area). Therefore, in order to comply with the provincial policies on the roadmap for conversion from landfill to incineration, recycling and energy recovery, avoiding immediate and long-term environmental pollution, solutions to be applied to improve the effectiveness of solid waste management in the province are proposed as follows:
Based on the National Environmental Protection Planning, the Province will develop a plan on environmental protection and biodiversity conservation in the planning of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province for the 2021 - 2030 period, including a plan for waste treatment facilities. In the immediate future, review and adjust the solid waste management planning of the Province to 2025, with a vision to 2030 to meet the current and future needs.
Develop Criteria for selecting partners to perform pollution treatment in Bãi Nhát area, such as: Install on-site incinerators; burning time does not exceed one year (with priority to focus on implementation in the sunny season in the shortest time); wastes before being put into incinerators must be segregated; the emission of incinerators must meet the emission requirements according to the National Technical Regulation on domestic solid waste incinerators QCVN No. 61:2016/BTNMT. Also, develop Criteria for selecting investors to build domestic solid waste treatment plants with the application of incineration, recycling and energy recovery technologies in Tóc Tiên Centralized Waste Treatment Area as a basis for calling for investment at the request of the Province.
Convert the planning and management model of Tóc Tiên Centralized Solid Waste Treatment Area to the planning and management model of an industrial park; review, assess and adopt appropriate solutions to renovate and restore the environment of some temporary, unhygienic domestic solid waste landfill sites already closed.
VEM: Do you have any suggestions to adjust policies and regulations related to the state management of domestic solid wastes?
Mr. Đặng Sơn Hải: In addition to concentrating the provincial resources to effectively implement solid waste management, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province also needs the support of the Central Government, therefore, we would like to propose the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as follows:
Firstly, review, amend and supplement legal documents on solid waste management, especially the review of incentive policies being implemented to make suitable adjustments with prioritization, discourage waste treatment by hygienic landfill methods; prioritize investment projects with advanced and modern equipment and technologies that have been successfully implemented and applied in practice... Also, allow the flexible application of special administrative and economic instruments (taxes, fees...), social instruments (propaganda and education) in accordance with the actual conditions of each district/city.
Secondly, provide guidance on the roadmap for implementation of reducing, towards not using the state budgets for solid waste collection, transportation and treatment.
Thirdly, guide the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE) to be the focal point to carry out the state management of solid wastes for the province to organize the implementation (transfer processes; regulations on functions, tasks; human and material resources mobilized from other agencies to DONRE..).
VEM: Sincerely thank you!
Phạm Tuyên (Implemented)
(Nguồn: Bài đăng trên Tạp chí Môi trường số Chuyên đề Tiếng Anh I/2020)