HCM City plans to treat all wastewater discharge and solid and toxic waste from factories, hospitals and households by 2015.

Nguyen Van Phuoc, deputy director of the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the city will implement 39 projects to reduce pollution in the 2001-15 period.

Of the projects, 13 will invest in infrastructure to treat solid waste.

The remaining 26 projects focus on raising the public's awareness about environmental protection; improve State management; and create new regulations on environmental protection.

The projects will also upgrade equipment to measure environmental quality and increase regional and international cooperation in environmental protection.

Of the infrastructure facilities, a toxic-waste treatment plant with a capacity of 21 tonnes a day, was put into operation during the first quarter.

Three projects under construction, including a plant that produces compost fertiliser from rubbish and a hospital waste water treatment system, will be completed by the year-end.

Four other projects, including two rubbish dumps and an environmental observation centre, are scheduled to be completed next year.

This year, the city will begin construction of five projects, including two plants that produce compost fertiliser from rubbish and a plant that produces construction materials from building-material waste.

Total construction capital of these 12 projects is estimated to be more than 5 trillion VND (238 million USD).-VNA