Vietnamese woman makes cleaning fluid from garbage

(VOVWORLD) - 53-year-old Trinh Thi Hong was the first woman in Da Nang City to make dish washing liquids and floor cleaners just from organic waste. Not only did Hong create eco-friendly products but she also generated jobs for nearly 130 women.  

In 2011, Hong started be concerned about recycling due to the air pollution in her neighborhood caused by a four-day backlog of waste collection. A year later, she represented Da Nang’s women in a conference hosted by the Association of Poor Urban Communities in Asia, taking place in the Philippines. Strongly impressed by a presentation of a Thai speaker about   fermentation technology allowing to create products from organic waste, she was determined to create cheap and friendly made-in-Vietnam cleaning fluid.

There was a chorus of disapproval initially. Many people believed she was not professional enough to carry out research like a chemist. Even her family thought it was impracticable. Spending nearly 9,000 USD on her research, she managed to produce dishwashing liquids and floor cleaners made from organic waste.  

Hong said she wanted to make the environment cleaner and help poor people increase their income.

"At first, I just thought that if I could successfully make cleaning fluid using fermentation technology, I would teach others so that we can help make a better environment. Then I noticed that if I could commercialize the products, I could create jobs for poor people in my neighborhood," Hong recalled.

Organic waste, water, and sugar are the main ingredients for making Hong’s cleaning fluid. Cut into a section of about 3 cm, leftover plants are mixed with the two other ingredients, brewed for 30 days in closed container. After filtering several times, the fluid is brewed with an inoculant made from eggplant and turmeric powder for another 45 days. At first, Hong introduced her products to her friends, relatives, and the Women’s association. Word of mouth brought her more and more customers.

Vietnamese woman makes cleaning fluid from garbage - ảnh 1Ms. Trinh  Thi Hong is the first woman in Da Nang City to make dish washing liquids and floor cleaners just from organic waste.

In early 2016, her work was chosen to be a model at the start-up incubator of Da Nang city. She established Minh Hong One Member Limited Company later that year. 21,000 USD was spent on machines, equipment, and worker’s salary. Her products are now available in 40 cities and provinces nationwide.

Nguyen Thị Kieu Linh, a customer in Hai Chau district, Da Nang city, said: “The product smells really good. Since it is an organic product, it’s very safe to use, especially for the children. That’s why I bought it”.

Nearly 130 poor women in Da Nang city are working  for her company, earning from 130 to 210 USD each month with as little as 30 minutes of work a day. Hong has turned down an offer of more than 210,000 USD for the copyright.

“If we had sold the copyright, we could have saved some money, built a new house, bought a car, and many things more. But we still want to  generate jobs for the poor. We can help protect the environment and help poor people improve their life,” her husband Nguyen Ngoc Anh explained.   

Selling four types of products including dishwashing liquid, floor cleaner, shower gel, and shampoo, her company yields nearly 43,000 USD annually. It collects and processes nearly a ton of organic waste in Da Nang City each month. Recently, Hong has represented Vietnam at the conference on Asian development held in Thailand,  where she detailed her project on turning organic waste into cleaning fluids. She is expected to introduce new shampoo and shower gel with natural scents in the near future.