HAI PHONG (VNS)— A medical waste incinerator in Hai Phong built by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Japan International Co-operation Agency in Viet Nam (JICA) completed its trial phase on Thursday.
Constructed in January, the US$600,000 incinerator has been operational since March with initial test results collected by the Hai Phong Urban Environment One Member Limited Company (URENCO) indicating that the incinerator satisfied most of the requirements set out in the 2012 Viet Nam Environmental Standards by MONRE.
“The incinerator is going to be of great assistance to the city’s effort to manage and process medical waste,” said Le Ngoc Tru, director of URENCO.
The Hai Phong Department of Health estimated the city’s hospitals created around 7,500 kg of medical waste per day, of which 800kg was solid toxic waste.
The city’s old incinerator built in 2002 is now outdated and not designed to process such a large amount of medical waste.
Tru said the incinerator built with the latest Japanese technology offered more than three times the capacity at 200kg per hour for 50 per cent less fuel consumption compared to the old incinerator.
It is also safer for workers to operate due to its automatic waste handling system that allows workers to process waste from a safe distance.
However, test results from water used for the incinerator did not meet Vietnamese standards and needed to be collected and processed separately in the nearby Trang Cat industrial waste treatment compound.
Air and water from neighbouring areas were also tested and came back with satisfactory results.
Kimura Mitsumasa, director of the Industrial Waste Association from Fukushima, said medical waste had to be labelled and transported using specific vehicles and trained workers.
Phung Chi Sy from VITTEP, a HCM City-based environment institute, said workers should be trained and able to categorise medical waste to maximise the incinerator’s efficiency by creating optimal mixtures of waste for the burning process.
Masuda Chikahio, senior representative of JICA Viet Nam, said the project, funded with Japanese Official Development Assistance, was part of a larger programme to encourage small-to-medium-size Japanese companies to transfer technology to Viet Nam.
At a seminar to evaluate the project’s trial phase on Thursday, representatives from other provinces’ health and environment sectors showed interest in the application of the incinerator. — VNS