The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment targets collecting and fully treating all hazardous solid wastes by 2015.

At a meeting with the city's National Assembly delegation earlier this month, Dao Anh Kiet, the department's director, said while solid and toxic wastes from industries and businesses are already being fully collected, those generated domestically and by some small clinics are not.

All wastes generated by hospitals and large health centres are also fully collected while for small clinics only 85-90 percent is, according to the department.

From medical facilities alone, around 32 tonnes of waste are collected every day.

Certain non-toxic industrial wastes like plastic, paper, and glass are fully recycled at source, Kiet said.

The city has solicited investment in treatment plants that will use various technologies to treat wastes by recycling and producing compost fertiliser and electricity, he said.

Now most solid wastes are landfilled.

The city plans to build more plants to treat solid wastes generated by households, industries, and medical facilities and toxic solid wastes.

It will also speed up upgrades to existing plants and build new ones at hospitals and clinics.

The city has inspected 2,062 producers and fined 1,360 of them a total of 25 billion VND (1.1 million USD) for violating environmental regulations since 2005, according to the Environment Protection division.

Of the violators, 128 have been temporarily shut down.

Cao Trung Son, deputy head of the division, said the fines were not severe enough to deter violators.

The Environment Law does not spell out the penalties for repeat offenders, he said, adding that proposed amendments to it should include them.-VNA