Community ekes out living collecting glass

Source: Pano feed

A group people living in the southern province of Binh Duong struggles to earn a paltry living by collecting discarded glass for resale.

Underprivileged women earn a living from waste glass

Underprivileged women earn a living from waste glass

Most of the people living in this small community came from central or southwestern regions. They have been brought together in their mutual plight of poverty and were forced into living in makeshift homes in a small hamlet in Tan Hiep area of Di An Township, collecting glass to get by. Most carry around various scars from the work.

Despite their hard work, their incomes only average around VND100,000 (USD4.75) per person per day.

Dangerous workDangerous work

Huong, 25, from the central province of Nghe An, said, “I’ve been doing this work for four years now. My husband and I came after we were married. We hoped he would be able to find work at one of the factories. When we saw that this was not going to happen we decided to start collecting glass.”

She said that the people in the hamlet work together and divide jobs between men and women. Usually men are responsible for the more physical duties, such as searching for glass at construction and dump sites and bringing it back for the women to sort and clean.

Hard work, low incomes “We separate the glass by size and colour. Broken bottles and such are sold to recycling facilities while whole panes of glass can be resold intact,” she said.

This type of work is hazardous by nature. Mai Van Nam, a waste glass collector, said, “Any small moment of carelessness could result in serious injuriy. A few days ago someone i know injured his hand and and broke his leg while trying to transport a load of glass. That type of accident could wipe out a family’s entire savings.”

He added that the average price for glass is VND300-400 per kilo and that they earn around VND3 million (USD142.61) each per month.

Many have been injuredMany have been injured

Nguyen Van Ben, 52, from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, was among the first in the hamlet to earn a living this way. Ben said, “At first only a few households did such work. Now the area houses over 10 families. And no one who does this job is free from injury.”

He went on to tell the story of a pregnant woman who died last year because, he said, she worked too hard and did not have sufficient nutrition.

Đăng ký: VietNam News