Most landfills in Hanoi are working over their capacities, overloaded with tonnes of garbage daily, leading to serious problems for the local authorities.
According to the Government, the total solid waste in Hanoi í about 7,000 tonnes/day, in which, food waste accounts for 51.9%, material (rubber, leather, wood, etc.) accounts for 38% and recyclable waste accounts for under 7.1%. The most popular type of treatment at the moments is to bury (98%) and burning without generating power (2%) (1).
Thiên Ý Hà Nội Environment and Energy Joint Stocks Company invested VND7 TRILLION in a waste-to-energy plant at Nam Son area, expecting to handle 4,000 tonnes of garbage daily and generating about 75 MW per hour. The biggest site in Nam Son opened in 1999, covering an area of 157 ha, receiving 5,000 tonnes, reaching 1,8 million tonnes every year from 12 inner districts and 5 suburbs in Hanoi. However, the construction of the new site is delayed due to COVID-19, and it (hopefully) should be ready later this year.
According to Nguyen Huy Tien, Hanoi Urban Environment One Member Limited Company (URENCO) Director General, the problem of overloaded landfills create serious risks of air pollution, wastewater leakage, etc.
There could be some hope though! According to Hanoi's Planning and Architecture Department, by 2030, Hanoi plans to have 17 waste treatment projects in Phu Xuyen District (Chau Can), Gia Lam District (Phu Dong), Chuong My District (Dong Ke, Nui Toong), Ung Hoa District (Dong Lo), Thach That District (Lai Thuong) and My Duc District (Hop Thanh). Those waste treatment areas are designed to be between 4 ha and 20 ha with the capacity of 500-1,200 tonnes of daily garbage.
As a Hanoian, I can't wait to see one day there is no more garbage dumped on the street, or piles of rubbish whenever environmental workers go on strike because of their low wage. The city definitely needs good investors who can incorporate innovative technology and waste management methods into the current (poor) system and educate local residents to be better at controlling their waste.