In 2007, an integrated resource recovery centre began operating in the Nhon Phu ward of Quy Nhon city, under the management of an agricultural cooperative. The plant experienced severe damage from several typhoons in 2009 but is now operating and making a small profit. The IRRC employs six workers who daily collect waste from about 700 households and two small markets.
A cooperative of poor farmers operates Quy Nhon’s integrated resource recovery centre. Several farmers who had never worked with garbage collection were hired as waste collectors, among them Mrs. Thúy, who is married and has three children. She helps support her family through housework and farming. She agreed to take on additional employment at the IRRC as a waste collector, although initially she was apprehensive about working with waste for reasons of cleanliness and feelings of inferiority brought about by the job. However, her concerns about hygiene were overcome after seeing the transformation of waste into compost. When she began, Mrs. Thúy did not believe she would remain at the IRRC for long. Five years later, she is still there working and receiving a secure income. “I never thought we could self-finance when the project finished. I cannot believe that we can survive until now without any support from the project,” she explained. Her husband has since joined the IRRC crew also as a waste collector.
Mrs. Thúy is proud of her job with the IRRC. She is gaining appreciation for her work from local farmers and seeing the improved sanitation of the neighbourhood as a result of the waste collection. She says that there is always something valuable to gain from waste. “We teach our children to put away their waste properly because their parents are the ones who collect it,” she added.