Dao Dang Cong Trung collects from 30 to 50 kilograms of trash every day. (Photo: moitruong24h.vn)
Dao Dang Cong Trung spends every early morning and late afternoon, rain or shine, collecting plastic bags, bottles, and empty cans on Son Tra peninsula, hoping to encourage others to protect the environment. Trung is the director of the Da Nang Ocean Tour company but locals prefer calling him a “trash collecting director”.
Trung was born in Da Nang’s neighboring town of Hoi An but was captivated by the beauty of Son Tra peninsula which boasts a rich marine ecosystem and primitive nature. A growing number of tourists to Son Tra is associated with a significant increase in the amount of trash on the peninsula, prompting Trung to do something for the environment.
“I want to make people more aware of the problem of waste and its devastating impact on the environment. Waste directly affects our health, our environment and threatens many plant and animal species,” said Trung.
Each day, Trung collects from 30 to 50 kilograms of trash, mainly plastic bottles and styrofoam containers. He uses the money earned from selling the collected waste to support disadvantaged locals.
As water sports coach, Trung also collects rubbish in the sea bed. He said the magnificent coral reefs off Son Tra peninsula are being ruined by plastic bags and bottles. Trung said picking trash in the sea is much more difficult than on land because it requires excellent diving and swimming skills. Moreover, trash collectors may be attacked by dangerous creatures.
“I consider collecting trash an activity to reduce stress. Sometimes I feel a bit discouraged because many people still litter around and do harm to the environment. But I never quit. I’m confident that the community will join my efforts,” said Trung.
Picking trash in the sea requires excellent diving and swimming skills.
Trung’s action has gradually received support from enterprises, organizations and young people in Da Nang. They have even set up diving groups to collect rubbish in the sea areas surrounding Son Tra peninsula.
“All the swimmers and coaches of our center are joining Trung to protect the environment,” said Le Anh Tien from April 30 diving center.
“Mr. Trung is a shining example of the joint efforts between the community and State agencies in protecting the ecosystem,” said Ms. Duong Thi Xuan Lieu, head of Da Nang’s Tourism Management and Exploitation Office.
Trung has integrated trash collection in tours offered by his Da Nang Ocean Tour company.