VietNamNet Bridge – The General Department of Environment has warned that residents in craft villages lose ten years of their lifespan because of environmental pollution.
Used batteries at Dong Mai village.
According to this agency, around 40,000 tons of lead batteries were discharged in Vietnam last year. The number is estimated to be nearly 70,000 tons by 2015. Most of the old batteries are re-processed at craft villages, causing environmental pollution.
Dong Mai lead recycling village in the northern province of Hung Yen is a typical example. Of 259 households in the village, 61 involve in lead recycling, totaling more than 500 workers.
Without proper pollution treatment equipment and management method, this village’s air, soil and water are seriously polluted by lead dust and acid water. The General Department of Environment’s report in 2008 warned that Dong Mai villagers can lose up to ten years of their lifespan due to environment pollution.
Te Lo village in the northern province of Vinh Phuc is famous for processing old vehicles. This village does not directly recycle industrial waste like used batteries, but it daily discharges tons of soils and sand with lubricant and rust to the local dumping grounds and the bank of Phan River. As a result, the local water resources are polluted.
Notably, battery manufacturing plants in Vietnam has no longer collected used batteries for recycling because they cannot compete with waste collectors.
To Van Thanh, director of the Tia Sang Battery JS Company, said that nobody throw used batteries out of the street because they can sell them. However, there is no rule on collecting used batteries. It is needed to have regulations on the responsibility and interests of battery manufacturers when they collect used batteries. We can only invest in technology to produce environmentally friendly batteries”.
Le Van Kieu, former chief inspector of the Ministry of Science and Technology, said that countries in the region have had rules on responsibility of battery producers in collected used batteries and Vietnam cannot lag behind in this field.
At Dong Mai village, lead recycling has been gathered to two enterprises only. However, both of them, which employ around 100 workers each, are violating rules on lead recycling. These enterprises collect around 600 tons of used batteries a month to extract 300 tons of lead and earn VND40 million ($1,800) from one ton of lead. However, there is no solution for pollution at this village.