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In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

By Giang Huy   September 16, 2022 | 02:00 am PT
For over 15 years, scrap collection has been the main job for 180 families in Xa Cau Village of Hanoi's Ung Hoa District.
In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

Piles of scraps, tall as a house, can be seen in Xa Cau Village of Quang Phu Cau Commune.

The village used to be known for making incense. However, over the past 15 years, many families have switched to scrap collection and sorting to supply recycling facilities.

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

Inside a yard belonging to Nguyen Dinh Ho's family are dozens of bags, piled up two meters tall, full of plastic, nylon or iron scraps.

"We collect scrap and sort it, then call for people in the village to buy them. On bad days, we can still sell a ton of scraps, at VND3,000 (13 cents) a kilogram," said Ho.

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

"I've been doing this job even before I was married. But there were years when the income got so low that the entire family stopped working. We've just returned to this job for over a year as it's stable and earn us over VND10 million a month, without having to go too far from home," said Nguyen Thi Duyen, 62.

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

Dang Thi Nam, a scrap sorter, uses magnets to look for iron mixed with plastic.

Most workers are local villagers, who earn VND200,000-400,000 a day depending on the job.

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

Three workers grind plastic scraps, before submerging them in water and packaging them into bags to be sent to a major production facility in Xa Cau Village.

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

"My husband and I are the only ones still doing this job in the family. Our four children all do different jobs as they don't want to collect scrap, which can be harmful to your health," said Nguyen Thi Thai, the owner of a shop that sells motorbike scrap.

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

Every day, scrap is collected from across Quang Phu Cau Commune.

Duc Hung, who is hired to transport scrap in the village, said: "I can earn a few hundreds of thousands of dong a day, but it's tough. Besides carrying the scrap, I also have to look for them and bring them to my employers." (VND100,000 = $4.23)

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

Scrap is collected and sorted, waiting to be sold to recycling facilities.

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

Scrap collecting has helped create jobs for many people but is also a source of pollution.

"Local authorities have had meetings, reminded people of the problem and instructed the police to monitor and fine certain cases. There are now companies in charge of cleaning, so the amount of trash in the area is much fewer now," said Nguyen Duc Nhat, chairman of Quang Phu Cau Commune.

In this Hanoi village, scrap collection is a local lifeline

Aerial view of a section of Xa Cau Village.

 
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