“Everyday, 3.5 million tons of wastes are produced, which roughly represent 76 times the weight of the Titanic. Recycling is well known in many European countries, as everyone needs to carefully separate any recyclable materials from the other wastes. Well, here in Vietnam, it is a whole different story. Recycling is done in a different yet interesting way.”
On a scheduled day and time, an assigned cleaner will come to pick all the bags up on the streets and gather them before transferring it into the garbage truck.
And before your bag ends up in the big containers with all the others wastes, it will have been checked a couple of times already by what we call “recycling ladies” who are hard working women that cycle around the city’s streets in order to collect valuable and recyclable products.
It is very impressive to see these brave women working day and night gathering huge amounts of plastic bottles, carton boxes, and Styrofoam materials. Doing all this hard work for a minimum salary just to make ends meet.
On a more positive note, by collecting and recycling all those metallic pieces and plastic bottles, these women help save energy to create the new products which save oil that would have produced CO2 in poisoning the earth’s atmosphere.
If those plastic bottles were not taken care of, they could have been thrown away in the ocean and harming the ecosystem, while endangering the species or worse, end up on the beaches where people like us want to spend our sunny days on.
Every year, an unbelievable number of both marine and land species die because of irresponsible human behavior that leads to a kilometer of beaches that need to be cleaned.
All the people that collect waste to earn a little money create a positive impact on our planet. As little as it may seem, every piece of plastic that does not go into the ocean or on the beaches creates a big impact for the environment.
So the next time you walk around town and see these women in bicycles, please remember all the work that they do and learn from them. The effects may not be visible now, but will eventually be in the years to come.
Nguyen Thien Thuat St., Nha Trang, Vietnam
Working all around the city
Everyday day, all day long