Ho Chi Minh City environment authorities have inspected several garbage and sewage treatment facilities after receiving complains about a stench that locals said has become unbearable, an official said.
People living in Districts 7, Nha Be and Binh Chanh, including in the high-end Phu My Hung area, have been complaining about a foul odor from the Da Phuoc landfill, especially in the evening.
The Phu My Hung management last week sought help from the city authorities to fix the problem.
Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said an inspection team visited the three facilities based in Da Phuoc commune, Binh Chanh District.
They include the Da Phuoc Integrated Waste Management Facility belonging to Vietnam Waste Solutions, Inc. (VWS), a mud recycling facility run by Sai Gon Xanh Co., and a cesspool sludge treatment facility operated by Hoa Binh Co.
The inspectors instructed the facilities to use more deodorant and speed up the process of receiving and processing garbage, sewage sludge and mud to reduce the odors, Thang said at a press conference in HCMC Wednesday.
Nguyen Toan Thang, Director of HCMC Natural Resources and Environment Department.
Several task forces have been monitoring the affected area, ready to trace the source of the odor, he said.
His department is collaborating with scientists to find out the cause of the stench and solutions, he said.
Speaking at another press conference in Hanoi later in the afternoon, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha also mentioned the inspection result, saying Da Phuoc Integrated Waste Management Facility is a suspect.
Built in 2007, the facility, commonly known as the Da Phuoc landfill, is situated about 10 km southwest of Phu My Hung, and 13 km southwest of downtown
Some scientists have questioned the choice of location, saying the downtown area would be affected by the smell emanating from the landfill due to the seasonal southwest wind between June and August.
David Duong, chief executive officer of VWS.
In an interview, David Duong, chief executive officer of VWS, said the landfill was built when the population in neighboring areas was low.
Besides, the city authorities have failed to plant a green belt of 300-500 meters width around the landfill as promised, he said.
He said VWS last week proposed to the city government that it would cooperate in finding the cause of the stench.
He also pointed out that between the landfill and District 7 are a number of industrial zones and pig farms while some other businesses based in Da Phuoc Commune process sewage and dead fish, he said.