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People have to spend money to be able to scratch garbage and work in pollution

Hundreds of people flock to the Con Quan dumping ground in Phu Son ward of Thanh Hoa City every day to scratch garbage for scrap materials. They work in shifts and have to pay 3000 dong to have the right to work on the ground.

VietNamNet Bridge – Hundreds of people flock to the Con Quan dumping ground in Phu Son ward of Thanh Hoa City every day to scratch garbage for scrap materials. They work in shifts and have to pay 3000 dong to have the right to work on the ground.

The Con Quan dumping ground proves to be the biggest garbage dump in Thanh Hoa City. This is really the most dirty and polluted place in the city. However, this proves to be the attractive place for many people, because the garbage can bring money. In fact, the jobs on the dumping ground have been feeding hundreds of people and their family members.

The people working here all need to be industrious and strong. Seeing a truck carrying garbage arriving, hundreds of people rushed into the truck with tools on their hands, ready to pick up everything they can sell for money from the garbage thrown from the truck.

A working day here begins at 5 am and finishes at 9 pm. In the hot summer and cold winter, the workers live in the world of garbage of different kinds. What they have to do is to look for the things which can be sold as scrap iron.

The production tools of the workers are simple. They just need a rake which helps look for things and a jute bag to put the things in. They wear special protective clothes, which they found right on the dumping ground.

Men and women, old and young all work very hard on the garbage field. Digging, searching on the dumping ground can bring them 50,000-100,000 dong a day. Their job is considered a simple and unskilled job. However, in fact, they need to be very clever with their hands, because they may accidentally tread in broken bottles or sharp things which may cause bleeding, or injection needles which bear germs. Besides, they have to breathe the polluted air every day and face dangerous diseases every day.

Le Thi Gai from Dong Cuong commune in Thanh Hoa City said that she picks up everything she can sell for money, including rags.

“This is really a hard job, but I have no other choice. I feel lucky that I still can find a job which can feed me and my family,” she said

The workers here work in shifts like the workers in industrial zones. The morning shift begins at 5 am and finishes at 12 noon, while the afternoon shift from 2 pm to 9 pm. Those, who work in the morning, would not go working in the afternoon, because they need to leave others the opportunities to pick something from the dumping ground. Every worker has to pay 3000 dong to the dumping ground management board to obtain a seat there.

Most of them are the farmers, who live near the garbage dumping ground and go working there to earn extra money when their rice field finish. Some of them have been living on the job for the last 20 years.

Le Thi Bien, 51, introduced herself as the “most experienced worker,” said she has been working there since the day the dumping ground opened more than 20 years ago. When she had the first baby, she began working there. And now they are grandparents already.

It seems that Bien feels lucky about the dumping ground. “In the past, I had to travel five kilometers a day to the Dong Huong dumping ground. Since 2001, I have been going there, which is nearer to my house, just over one kilometer,” Bien said.

“I have never thought of giving up the job one day,” she added.

Thien Nhien


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