The first stage of a new rubbish treatment plant has been completed at the Khanh Son dump, the biggest tip in central Da Nang City .

The whole plant will process 650 tonnes of rubbish a day. The first stage will turn plastic bags – which make up 10 percent of the rubbish – into 15 tonnes of industrial oil daily.

The second stage will be completed in September to produce 60 tonnes of fertiliser, bricks and gas from the rest of the rubbish each day.

"Ninety percent of the rubbish can be recycled," mechanical engineer Trinh Hoang Linh, 40, said.

"We are installing a garbage classification system which helps us speed up the treatment," he said.

The waste treatment system needs only two engineers and four labourers to operate, he said.

Tran Quoc Huy, an expert in waste treatment technology from the HCM City-based Institute of Construction Materials , said the plant is an effective solution to clear big dumps.

"We began studying waste treatment in 2008 and installed plants in southern Kien Giang's Rach Gia district, Tay Ninh province and HCM City 's Cu Chi district, and other places."

"It's quite a low investment with an eye on plastic, which is the toughest waste to dispose of," Huy said.

The technology could process three tonnes of clean plastic bags into 1 tonne of usable plastic oil for industrial furnaces, he said.

The treatment process released a little dust and gas, he said.

"With the old technology, garbage was buried or burnt, but it polluted the environment and water. Our technology can produce safe and useful recycled products," Huy said.

He added that the technology is not new but is low cost and better for environment.

The plant, built on an area of 12ha, used mainly locally made equipment and cost 520 billion VND (25 million USD).

The plant owner, Vietnam Environment Joint-Stock Company's director Nguyen Van Tuan, said it would process all the dumps' rubbish daily.

"I will make sure there will be nothing to bury after the treatment. The plant will set a milestone in efforts to build Da Nang as an environmentally friendly city by 2020," Tuan added.

The Municipal Natural Resources and Environment Department director Nguyen Dieu said State agencies will monitor the plant's quality control; recycled fuel will be tested by the HCM City-based Quality Assurance and Testing Centre.

The plant will produce low cost plastic and rubber oils which sell for 15,000 VND (0.7 USD) a litre, significantly cheaper than the selling price of diesel oil which is 19,000 VND (0.9 USD).-VNA