'Environment' firm lets tons of waste burn in the open for two years

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A huge dump site has been left burning outdoors for two years by a major waste treatment plant located in Binh Duong Province neighboring HCMC, local residents have complained.


Nguyen Van Tranh, a resident of Ben Cat District, said the dump site gathers a lot of dangerous garbage and has been burning strongly since 2008.


The news broke out on Friday after officials on Wednesday found nearly 5,000 tons of spoiled milk dumped illegally at the site of the Nam Binh Duong Waste Treatment Factory which belongs to state-owned Binh Duong Water, Drainage and Environment, Ltd.


The burning smells "very unpleasant," said Tranh who collects rubber near the dump site from 2-3 a.m. every day.


Several neighboring families also said they found it difficult to breathe at night when the breeze brought in the smell of burning garbage.


Viscous oil, printing ink and medical waste are also buried at the site, police found when investigating the milk dumping.


The dump site receives around 150,000 tons of waste every day including dangerous materials from all over the province. But it is only equipped with one incinerator that does not have the capacity to handle such quantities, according to the Binh Duong Department of Natural Resources and Environment.


The factory also dumps wastewater directly into the environment as there's no sewage treatment system and the factory is equipped with two tanks that can only hold 15,000 cubic meters together, police said.


In August 2008, environmental authorities in Binh Duong caught the factory discharging untreated wastewater that killed dozens of hectares of rubber trees planted by local residents nearby.


Le Minh Chau, head of environmental police department in Binh Duong, said his unit has taken many samples from the dump site to analyze the damage caused to the environment.


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