The largest landfill in Hanoi is blocked


Nam Son and Hong Ky residents, for the second time this year, block ways to nam son landfill, 450 tons of waste is building up

At 8:30 pm on October 23rd, a crowd of about 20 people of village 2, Hong Ky commune brought tables and makeshift tents to block the gate no.1. to the landfills. The garbage trucks moved on to gate no.2 before being blocked by Dong Ha residents at 9:30 pm. On Road 35, heading to the dump, dozens of trucks had no choice but to line up.

Xe rác xếp hàng dài trước cổng số 2 bãi rác Nam Sơn tối 23/10. Ảnh: Nguyễn Bình.

Garbage trucks in front of gate no.2 of Nam Son landfill on the evening of October 23

Photo: Nguyen Binh.

“Garbage trucks were still stuck outside this morning,” said Mr. Cao Xuan Thin, Director of Urenco 8, Hanoi Urban Environment Company.

“The company and local authorities have held meetings with residents to respond to their feedback and concerns; however, the residents refuse to let the truck pass. They request for sooner disbursement of compensation money for site clearance, so they can soon move out of 500 meters of the landfill.”, said Mr. Thin. “There was about 450 tons of waste in the trucks,” he added.

Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Oanh, Vice Chairman of Nam Son Commune, explained that despite authorities’ effort to pacify the residents, provoked by the slow compensation progress, they did not budge their blockage.

Bãi rác Nam Sơn tháng 7/2020. Ảnh: Ngọc Thành.

Nam Son landfill in July 2020. Photo. Ngoc Thanh.

This marks the second time the landfill is blocked this year. The first time took place in mid-July 2020 where the landfill was blocked for 05 (five) days, and the city had to move garbage to Xuan Son (Son Tay) and other ad-hoc sites, but the piles of trash were still recorded in many areas.

In 2019, Soc Son residents blocked the Nam Son landfill 03 three times, causing the city to be filled with trash. The Ha Noi government, after a handful of dialogues, finally provided residents with a satisfying answer regarding land clearance and compensation progress. At the end of January 2020, the city asked Soc Son authorities to accelerate the compensation plan and clear the site by the second quarter of this year.


Built in 1999, the Nam Son waste treatment complex in Soc Sown District now spans over 157 ha and is divided into 02 (two) phases. In the southern part, the landfill has 06 (six) trash burial slots. These slots have been used since 2015 and could handle roughly 5 million m3 of trash. All of them were filled by the middle of 2019, prompting Hanoi People’s Committee to allow Hanoi Urban Environment Company (Urenco) to add 02 (two) more slots and make use of the gaps between old ones to increase capacity. Meanwhile, in the northern part, 02 (two) trash burial slots of 37 ha (with a capacity of 1.9 million m3) have yet to be constructed due to clearance bottleneck prevalent since 2015. Within a 500m radius of the Nam Son landfill live over 2,000 families who need to be relocated from the site, leaving behind roughly 396 ha of agricultural and residential land.

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