A barge that automatically collects garbage from the water made by a Dutch environmental organization was put into operation in the Can Tho River in the Mekong Delta Friday.
It scoops up trash and offloads it into six dumpsters and transports them to shore.
The 25m vessel built by The Ocean Cleanup operates on solar power and can collect more than 10 tons of garbage a month.
Interceptor 003 costs VND19.8 billion (US$866,000), of which VND14.6 billion was provided by the Dutch organization. Of the remaining VND5.2 billion, VND2 billion came from private contributors.
It was trialed for four months when it collected more than 43 tons of mostly plastic trash and water hyacinth.
The Can Tho River flows 16km through the districts of O Mon, Phong Dien, Cai Rang, Ninh Kieu before meeting the Hau River, a branch of the Mekong.
It is one of 15 rivers around the world chosen by the Dutch organization for a project to prevent plastic pollution in oceans.
Duong Tan Hien, deputy chairman of Can Tho, said the cleanup, besides tackling pollution, would also help promote river tourism.
According to data released last year by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, plastic waste accounts for 7 percent of the solid waste discharged every day in Vietnam, on nearly 2,500 tons.
Vietnam discharges 0.28-0.73 million tons of plastic waste into the ocean every year.
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