VietNamNet Bridge – Residents of Huong Khe Town in Ha Tinh Province have blocked garbage trucks’ access to the local landfill for the past 10 days, to protest the use of the overflowing dump.
|Uncollected trash piled on in the Son Market, Huong Khe Town, Huong Khe District in the central province of Ha Tinh.|
The protest has led to waste accumulation in the area, and all waste treatment activities have come to a halt, worsening the already bad situation in Huong Khe District.
All solid waste generated by Huong Khe Town is handled by Huong Khe Urban Environment Co-operative, whose job is to collect the garbage and haul it to Trai Lon (Piggery) landfill, located in the district’s Gia Pho Commune.
However, after 16 years of operation, the 10,000 sqm landfill had run out of space.
At least 20 households in the vicinity of the landfill had been complaining persistently about foul smells and swarms of flies and insects, and had blocked garbage trucks from entering the landfill several times. They demanded that the Huong Khe District People’s Committee shut down the overflowing landfill.
Finally, on April 5, Le Ngoc Huan, chairman of the district People’s Committee, organised a meeting with affected households and promised to close the landfill by May 30. A new landfill, located in Huong Thuy Commune, was to become operational in early June.
However, the construction of the new landfill fell behind schedule, and on May 26, the People’s Committee notified residents that the Trai Lon landfill will continue to operate until the new landfill is ready.
Unhappy with the plan, the affected residents started blocking the trucks again.
Phan Cong Thuc, director of Huong Khe Urban Environment Co-operative, said that for the past 10 days, his garbage trucks have been lying stationary as residents have blocked entry to the landfill, and waste in Huong Khe Town is piling up.
Dang Thi Ha, a vendor in Son Market, complained to the Thanh nien (Youth) newspaper that the uncollected trash has “discouraged customers from visiting the market” as it is unhygienic.
Huan has requested provincial authorities and all concerned agencies to facilitate the construction of the new landfill and get it running as soon as possible. “We have tasked the environment department with helping the Huong Khe Urban Environment Co-operative use probiotics or disinfectants to treat the collected waste in an eco-friendly manner, as well as issued instructions to residents on how to handle waste properly,” he said.