Due to rapid urbanization in the past few years, Kon Tum in Viet Nam’s central highlands has experienced a large increase in the volume of its municipal solid waste.
Anticipating a saturated landfill by 2016, the city authorities began looking for ways to extend the life of the landfill by reducing the amount of daily waste generated in the city. The 3R approach made sense to the authorities, but so far waste management has focused on collection and disposal.
Kon Tum has a large agricultural industry, with rubber and coffee plantations, and a strong demand for compost. The compost will benefit rural farmers and can also be used for urban landscaping needs.
In 2011, Kon Tum thus became one of three Viet Nam cities participating in the ESCAP regional project, Pro-Poor and Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Secondary Cities and Small Towns.
Partnering with the Environment and Development Action (ENDA), the Association of Cities of Viet Nam, and Waste Concern, ESCAP is working with the Kon Tum government to develop an integrated resource recovery centre (IRRCs). The project is designed to help improve solid waste collection, help each city save money and provide equitable and healthier employment for people scavenging in the informal waste sector.
Citenco will be the primary partner for developing and operating the IRRC. Once constructed – by July 2012 – the plant will have a capacity to treat 5 tons of organic waste per day but will initially operate at a 3-ton capacity, starting with waste from the central market. As Citenco gains experience in managing, ensures availability of well-separated organic waste and overcomes the challenges of running the IRRC, it will scale up the project in phases and will work together with the People’s Committee to promote separation of waste by households.
One of the primary challenges that Citenco foresees is source separation, which requires households to develop new habits and to take more responsibility for their waste disposal. Three wards will be selected as part of a source separation pilot project, which will be replicated later in other wards in tandem with the scaling up of the IRRC capacity. The goal for the city is to compost more than 60 tons of organic waste per day and significantly reduce the costs for waste disposal.