Making a Difference with Keep Hanoi Clean header image

Making a Difference with Keep Hanoi Clean

by The Tay Ho Times on 01/01/2021

Keep Hanoi Clean is a registered social enterprise, based in Hanoi Vietnam. The organization was founded by James Joseph Kendall, in May of 2016 and they just celebrated their 100th cleanup event on December 26th, 2020.

They have estimated to have been joined by over 4,000 volunteers and collected over 100 tons of waste from the city and other areas of Vietnam, including Sapa, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Tam Dao. Their effort to protect the environment has also inspired several volunteer groups to be formed in universities and have motivated countless cleanup events around Vietnam, as well as other projects to protect the environment.

Their next event is the biggest event of the year. It takes place one week before the Lunar New Year, “Tết” in Vietnamese. Their event aims to protect the rivers and lakes in Hanoi, during the traditional, “Ngày Lễ Ông Công, Ông Táo”, meaning ‘Kitchen God Day’, in English. During this long-running tradition, Vietnamese people release three fish into lakes and rivers. Each fish is a vehicle for each of the kitchen gods to ride into heaven. Unfortunately, thousands upon thousands of people also throw the plastic bags into the water with the fish during their traditional ceremony.

Keep Hanoi Clean honours and respects local tradition, but their goal is to collect the plastic bags before they are tossed into the water. Their effort has received a tremendous amount of support from local people, including Buddhist monks and temples and in February of 2021, it will be the longest event in their over four years of environmental protection effort.

In 2018, Keep Hanoi Clean was able to collect 13,735 plastic bags from just one bridge that crosses the largest river in Hanoi, the Red River. After the event, all the bags were sent to a neighbouring city, Hung Yen, to be recycled.

Due to the enormous support from the community, including the Vietnamese government, Keep Hanoi Clean will make an even bigger effort to prevent plastic bags from entering and polluting the water. They are planning to organize their effort on not just one bridge, but all of the bridges that cross the Red River, in 2021, also including the iconic West Lake.

Typically, at their cleanup events, local Vietnamese people represent between 90- 95% of the volunteers.

Unfortunately, many of the local Vietnamese people will be busy preparing for their Tet holiday and will not be able to join them, meaning their need for support among the expat community will be critical to their effort.

If you want to get involved, you can find out more information by visiting their website: — or keep up updated by following their Facebook or Instagram pages.

“If we all do our own part, big or small, to protect the environment, it adds up to something greater than we could possibly imagine.”


Keep Hanoi Clean

587 Đ. Lạc Long Quân, Xuân La, Tây Hồ
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 096 711 94 19

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