Medical, plastic wastes skyrocket

THE surge in plastic and coronavirus-related wastes in HCM City is creating huge pressure on its waste treatment system.

The HCM City Urban Environment Company Limited collects and treats all wastes from hospitals and quarantine facilities.

Cao Van Tuan, head of its environmental technology and quality control department, said the daily medical waste output had increased to nearly 40 tonnes a day, including 12 tonnes from quarantine zones, since the outbreak, and the treatment capacity is 42 tonnes.

If coronavirus-related waste continues to grow, it would lead to an overload at the treatment plant.

Besides having equipment prescribed for handling hazardous wastes, they also need to safeguard people handling the wastes.

Wastes from locked-down areas are mainly collected by local authorities who spray them with disinfectants before sending to trash dumps.

With social distancing in place the volume of goods packaged and delivered to consumers’ homes and the use of plastic bags have increased exponentially.

According to Nguyen Gia Thanh, an online seller, he has to use 6kg of plastic bags a month for packaging now, twice the usual rate.

Customers want goods to be covered with more plastic bags as a virus prevention measure.

Nguyen Van Tot, a garbage collector in Hóc Môn District, said while normally plastic accounted for 50% of the garbage, it had now increased to 60-65%. — Vietnam News/ANN

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