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For Zero Waste to Mekong River – Promoting circular economy in Floating markets in Cần Thơ

With the goal to reducing the amount of waste in the Cần Thơ rivers and improving economic efficiency for people through the circular economy model, the project “For a Zero Waste Mekong River – Piloting the circular economy model at floating markets in Cần Thơ” has been implemented by GreenHub and Research Center for Natural Resources and Rural Development (RECERD) in Cần Thơ since March 2022, with funding of DOW Chemical Vietnam Company. After 8 months of official operation, the project has contributed to promoting the process of waste collection, classification, reuse and recycling, limiting the negative impact of waste on the environment.

At Cái Răng Floating Market, a pilot program to separate waste at source and establish a domestic waste collection system for households living permanently on the river was tested. Households have actively sorted to take advantage of recycling; The remaining amount of garbage is collected daily and put into the general transportation and treatment system of the whole city.

Ms. Bảy – a waste collector on Cái Răng floating market said: “People here are used to throwing garbage into the river, but when I said to them to keep the garbage, they agreed to keep the garbage for me to collect”.

Along with that, a large amount of coconut shells in the floating market area were brought to cattle processing facilities in the district for fuel. The amount of garbage collected from the project implementation (from mid-September 2022) to mid-December 2022 is about 3 tons of waste including plastic waste, organic waste (coconut shells) and others. 4.8 tons of garbage (including plastic waste, organic waste and other garbage) was collected through clean-ups on Cái Răng floating market. The model applied in Cái Răng is not only highly effective in reducing the amount of waste directly into the river, but also provides an effective input for economic activities in the area.

In Cồn Sơn, with the goal of raising the awareness of people and tourists about environmental protection and combating plastic waste pollution, the project has accompanied the Cồn Sơn community to set up sorting waste collection area, in order to recover the maximum amount of recyclable waste here.

In addition, the project also supports providing information and propaganda to people about plastic waste through Game Zone points and information boards along the route. People here have done a good job of sorting and reusing waste, in which, recyclables are accumulated and sold to increase income, organic waste and leftovers are used used as fertilizer.

Mr. Mai Hồng Sử, Head of Area 1 community at Cồn Sơn, said: “After being propagated and tried to apply the model, people here want a chain of collection and transportation of domestic waste to be established to keep preserve environmental sanitation and develop Con Son into a bright spot of eco-friendly tourism”.