Tackling the Waste Challenge Toward a Greener, Circular Economy

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In Vung Tau, each person generates about one kilogram of solid waste every day. While the Vietnamese city has high collection rate at 95%, the lack of segregation and sorting has led to waste leakage causing environmental pollution, including marine debris.

Together with the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), CDIA is conducting a project preparation study (PPS) to develop investments that can holistically improve solid waste management (SWM) in Vung Tau City toward environmental improvement and a circular economy.

“We are now past Stage I of the PPS, and as such, we have been able to carry out a full analysis of the city’s SWM chain, conduct stakeholder consultations, and assess existing climate risk and vulnerability,” said Ramon Abracosa, CDIA Program Manager. “From these initial activities, we were able to come up with technical options for the investments that AEPW and other investors can finance,” he added.

Recycling rate in the city is very low. In order to recover recyclables, CDIA recommended looking into developing an efficient household segregation program, which can be done through investments in separated recycling bins and recyclable recovery stations, public information drives, and strengthening wards that can assist in data collection and awareness raising. Part of this possible program is the development of apps-based systems for gathering data on recyclables and a payments/rewards system.

The team also saw the need to upgrade the city’s solid waste collection and transport system through investments in, for example, improving the waste cart design and the purchase of more trucks to transfer recyclables to materials recovery facilities (MRF).

As Vung Tau does not have an MRF, CDIA proposed looking into designing and building new MRFs for the full primary processing of not only plastics but also paper/card, and metal. However, as the government is planning a centralized transfer station and an integrated MRF, CDIA’s help was sought on this new plan.

With the expected surge in recovered recyclables as a result of the implementation of the above measures, CDIA further identified as an option the establishment of plastics processing plants in Vung Tau to complement existing facilities in nearby Ho Chi Minh City, to target the full range of plastic types and complete the circular economy model.

CDIA presented the development options above to project stakeholders on 14 July 2022 at the interim workshop to elicit further inputs. Upon selection of priority options by the city, CDIA will then develop the feasibility study and preliminary engineering design, along with institutional capacity development roadmap, financial and economic analysis, safeguards, climate change interventions, and detailed application to AEPW for potential downstream financing.

“More than the direct benefit of tackling the waste challenge in Vung Tau, this project will contribute significantly to environmental protection, via the reduction of waste leakage to the environment, sea and ocean; enhancement of recyclable activities; and reduction of landfilled waste,” said Ramon. “It is also expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emission, generate income in the circular economy through recycling, and improve public health and overall livability,” he added.

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Photos during the interim workshop, site visit and the conduct of social survey:


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