Over the past two months, inhabitants of streets like Hàng Bài, Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Lê Thái Tổ and Hàng Khay in Hà Nội have grown used to seeing garbage collectors riding a bicycle with two dustbins on each side. — Photo kinhtedothi.vn
HÀ NỘI — Over the past two months, inhabitants of streets like Hàng Bài, Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Lê Thái Tổ and Hàng Khay in Hà Nội have grown used to seeing garbage collectors riding a bicycle with two dustbins on each side.
Nguyễn Hữu Tiến, general director of Hà Nội Urban Environment One Member Co Ltd (URENCO), said the company started using bicycles in some central districts in June to encourage residents and tourists to comply with environmental regulations in the capital city.
The advantage of the bicycles was that collectors can work in small and narrow lanes in the city, he said.
If the trial proved successful, the plan will be rolled across the whole city, he said.
Đỗ Kim Hà, a worker from URENCO, said although the bikes have only been used for a few months, their effectiveness has been proven.
“It helps save time for collectors and makes work less hard compared with pushing overloaded trash trolleys along the roads,” she said.
Nguyễn Hữu Chiến, deputy director of the Hà Nội Urban Environment One Member Co Ltd’s Hoàn Kiếm branch, said trash collection by bike would help waste collectors and improve locals’ awareness of environmental protection.
Nguyễn Xuân Lan, owner of a shop on Cầu Gỗ Street, said the area around Hoàn Kiếm Lake had become cleaner thanks to the efforts of environmental staff, including those on bicycles.
The green garbage collectors’ uniform, bicycles and dustbin as well as the words printed on the back of their uniform called on people to not litter, she said.
She said that a lot of local residents had been seen picking up litter from the road and putting it in collectors’ dustbins.
As many as 50 bicycles have been handed over to garbage collectors in the capital’s four inner districts of Hoàn Kiếm, Ba Đình, Hai Bà Trưng and Đống Đa since June, Chiến said.
Nguyễn Phương Linh, a resident of Văn Miếu Ward in Đống Đa District, applauded the new strategy.
“At first, I was surprised to see garbage collectors riding on bicycles. This helps to create a new image of garbage collectors in the eyes of people,” she said.
“Using bicycles for garbage collection will ease the pressure on collectors as they can collect at any time,” she said.
Household waste is often dumped on streets in Hà Nội, Linh said, and this model would help build a green and clean city.
While some appreciated the initiative, others voiced concern over its effectiveness.
Vũ Xuân Dậu, from Cầu Giấy District’s Yên Hòa Ward, said it was a waste of human resources. Collectors with bicycles just gathered garbage on the side of the road because garbage on the road and pavement around Hoàn Kiếm Lake was collected by road-cleaner trucks and other environmental staff, he told Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper.
He proposed agencies assign waste collectors in an appropriate way to avoid redundancy.
Nguyễn Văn Nam, who lives on Khâm Thiên Street, said authorities should consider the long-term effect of the initiative.
Although the capital requirement for purchasing a bicycle was small, it would be quite a big sum of money to purchase hundreds of bicycles, he said.
The budget for bike maintenance and payment for employees was a concern, he said.
In addition, the move seemed on contrary to the trend of mechanisation across the world to cut labour costs.
“While it may be costly to invest high technology to collect waste it brings higher efficiency due to the reduction of employees and covering expanded areas”, he said. — VNS