Ho Chi Minh City plans to reduce environmental pollution by reducing the rate of buried waste to under 40 percent by the end of the year.

Eighty percent of municipal waste is now buried in dumps.

The city produces the largest amount of urban waste in the country, up to 8,000 tonnes per day, and only 20 percent are treated by modern technology.

"Waste is considered a resource for recycling, and the most common way now is to burn waste to make electricity," Nguyen Huy Hoan, deputy head of the Industry and Trade Ministry's Science and Technology Department, was quoted as saying in Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.

Burning waste to generate electricity would help limit underground water pollution by waste water leakage and reduce the need for large burial dump sites.

Many investors are ready to invest in modern waste treatment plants with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day. Each plant would need about 150-180 million USD.

"We are ready to invest, but the city must provide a certain amount of waste for us for at least 20 years of the project," Huynh Minh Nhut, director of the Urban Environment Limited Company, said.

More than 80 countries have applied modern technology to treat waste, but HCM City, Hanoi and Hai Phong have used it only on a small scale.

"Both Hanoi and HCM City have sufficient conditions to generate electricity from waste as they have a lot of waste and the price for land is very high," said Pham Trung Thuc of the Industry and Trade's Energy General Department.

The Government has been encouraging investors to take part in projects that generate electricity, especially from waste.

Under their proposal, investors would receive fees for the waste treatment. Selling prices for each kWh of electricity would be 2,200 VND (10 USD cents).

Preferential taxes, cheap land rentals and low interest rate on loans would also be provided to investors.

Investors may also receive 50 percent of expenditures for their equipment from the Japanese government if their equipment meets requirements of CO2 reduction and environmentally friendly conditions.

"The only problem now is how to ensure waste for plants. In the near future, the city also wants to prohibit the burying of waste," Le Manh Ha, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People's Committee, said.-VNA