|People sort waste and send recyclable waste to local waste collection center
Nguyen Van Thong’s family in the Binh Phuoc 1 residential area in Hai Chau district has two rubbish bins for organic waste and recyclable waste such as plastic bottles, cans, and paper. He throws the organic waste into public bins and sends the recyclable waste to the ward’s collection center.
Thong said “If we sort our waste, it will ease the burden on the city. It will keep the city clean and we can sell the recyclable waste to raise a fund to help disadvantaged families and sick people. A small action has a big benefit.”
The movement to sort waste at its source and sell the garbage to raise a fund has been implemented in Hai Chau ward for more than 10 years. Le Thi Ha, Chairwoman of Thuan Phuoc ward, says that in 2008 Japan’s Kyoto University launched a project to raise public awareness of environmental protection.
People were told how to collect and sort waste at home. Now sorting waste is a habit for more than 80% of households in Thuan Phuoc. Last year they raised 8,600 USD from selling garbage.
Ha said, “We use the fund to organize the Mid-Autumn Festival and Children’s Day celebration, give scholarships to disadvantaged students, and help social beneficiary families. Many residential areas have big funds and they give a gift to every household at the end of the year.”
Thuan Phuoc’s waste sorting model has been replicated in other wards. Tran Van Tien, Deputy Director of Da Nang’s Urban Environment Company, said the city has to handle about 1,000 tons of waste every day. Most of it is buried at the Khanh Son landfill.
Tien suggests “We should encourage people to use alternative materials to replace plastic bags. Communications should be enhanced to make people realize the effect of plastic bags on the environment.”