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Vietnam Is Taking Bold New Steps to Reduce Emissions, Including Utilizing Pig Waste

While a controversial suggestion to reduce emissions by banning motorbikes in the capital by 2030 has been suggested, some in Vietnam are also beginning to create biogas from pig waste.

One Hanoian, Le Thi Vinh, has started to create biogas from the waste created by her 46 pigs. As Quartz reports, the gas Vinh collects is enough to cook three meals a day for a family of four and is better for the environment than burning firewood – the family’s previous source of fuel.

The gas is collected from methane released by pig waste using a biodigester. The contraptions are not cheap to buy, though. They cost around US$600 to build, which is five times Le’s monthly income. Since 2003, however, Dutch NGO SNV Vietnam has been helping Vietnamese to build biogas digesters, in part by providing a US$100 subsidy for families who wish to construct one. As of June this year, there were roughly 170,000 biodigesters in the country, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, a program adviser at SNV, told the news source.

Astonishingly, Vietnam’s pork output is the 6th-highest in the world. Without proper care, the waste pigs produce not only pollutes the environment but also releases methane as it degrades. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is released as methane burns, but methane is actually far more damaging to the environment than CO2.

The efforts all point towards strategies the government and Vietnamese people are taking to address the prominent issue of pollution in Vietnam, and particularly in Hanoi, which was recently declared the most polluted city in Southeast Asia.

[Photo via Creative Commons Zero]

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