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Landfill Spills 'River' of Garbage on Da Lat Farms After Heavy Rain

A week ago, several bouts of extended rain caused widespread flooding in Da Lat, an unexpected calamity, considering the town’s hilly topography. For some farmers in the area, flooding turned out to be the least of their concerns.

In the early morning of August 8, heavy rain caused a deluge that broke the protective banks of the Cam Ly Landfill in Da Lat, causing mountains of trash to flow down, burying hectares of greenhouses and fields under a thick layer of garbage, Tuoi Tre reports.

The landfill is perched on a hill outside downtown Da Lat. While Cam Ly is just a temporary garbage deposit site, it currently handles the majority of the city’s trash, which is estimated to be more than 200 tons a day. The site had been Da Lat’s only garbage treatment facility for decades until its closure in 2015, when the city’s solid waste treatment plant was opened.

However, in 2017, the landfill was re-opened again as the trash load became too much for the plant to process. This dovetailed with Da Lat’s rising status as a popular tourist destination. These days, the plant can only handle around 80 tons of solid waste per day, while the rest is diverted to Cam Ly.

The landfill’s managing company confirmed the break, estimating that around seven hectares of farmland below were affected by the trash spillage. A few local households were also damaged.

Among these is Vu Duy Thoan, whose family has been undertaking agricultural activities here since 1990. Thoan told Thanh Nien that earlier this year, he invested more than VND200 million in an automatic sprinkler system and seeds to cultivate 2,000 square meters of hydrangea. The trash destroyed all of that.

The “river” of garbage also buried the area’s transport network and water streams, causing a halt in production. The filthy seepage leaked into local water sources and could lead to disease outbreaks. According to affected families, it’s been a week since the incident, but the city still hasn’t made any attempt to remove the spilled rubbish.

On August 13, the Vice Chairman of the Da Lat People’s Committee told Thanh Nien that the city is in the process of assessing the damage the trash inflicted on locals to come up with appropriate compensation.

[Photo by Mai Vinh via Tuoi Tre]

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