The Hanoi People’s Committee has introduced fines of up to 15 million VND (789 USD) for people caught illegally discharging solid and domestic waste.

It is the first time the city has issued administrative punishments for activities that pollute the environment.

Under the new rules, people who illegally transport solid waste could face fines of up to 10-15 million VND (526-789 USD), those caught littering city streets with solid waste could be fined 5-10 million VND (263-526 USD), and those caught discharging domestic waste could be fined between 100,000-300,000 VND (5.2-15.7 USD).

In addition to fines, violators would also be required to rectify the effects that their waste disposal caused on the environment. Activities that obstruct waste management would also be liable to punishment in accordance with environment protection laws.

The new rules are only the first step to classify and control waste to ensure the development of an effective recycling system that minimises the amount of waste buried in landfills, said Nguyen Van Khoi from the Hanoi People’s Committee.

Nguyen Thi Thanh, a worker of the city’s Urban Environmental Hygiene Company, said that the fines are strict enough to discourage people from discharging waste in the public places.

However Thanh said she wondered whether the city’s Transport and Public Works Department would allocate enough officers to enforce the regulations.

Statistics released by the ministry show the average amount of garbage discharged daily by each household amounts to between 0.6kg in rural areas and about 1kg in urban areas in Hanoi - rates that are steadily increasing.

Each day, more than 3,500 tonnes of rubbish are discharged in Hanoi./.