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Hanoi alley ends illegal garbage dumping by publicly shaming violators

Friday, April 19, 2019, 20:10 GMT+7
Hanoi alley ends illegal garbage dumping by publicly shaming violators
A photo of an illegal garbage dumper is posted on a power pole in a Hanoi alley to discourage violators in this still photo taken from a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper video report.

A small alley in Hanoi has found an effective way to put an end to illegal garbage dumping - installing CCTV at the littering hot spot and posting recorded photos of violators right there to publicly shame them.

Residents living in an alley of Xuan Thuy Street in Cau Giay District, Hanoi used to complain about the unsightly view of garbage being dumped near a utility pole, causing nearby households to suffer from foul smell.

The violation often took place late at night, making it difficult to catch violators red-handed.

To combat this problem, Hoang Thanh Mai, head of the neighborhood association, came up with the idea of installing a surveillance camera near the power pole and publicly posting CCTV photos of garbage dumpers on the same pole to discourage them from repeating the violation.

Mai, 70, said these photos do not reveal the faces of the subjects due to privacy concerns, but they are enough to let violators recognize themselves and feel shameful for their action.

Timestamps are also included in the photos to make it easier for illegal garbage dumpers to identify themselves, she said.

Photos of illegal garbage dumpers are posted on a power pole on a Hanoi alley to discourage violators in this still photo taken from a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper video report.

Photos of illegal garbage dumpers are posted on a power pole in a Hanoi alley to discourage violators in this still photo taken from a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper video report.

“Within two days of implementing Mai’s idea, illegal garbage dumping stopped completely,” said Linh, owner of a household behind the utility pole.

“I used to spend a lot of time cleaning up the mess that had piled up in front of my house every afternoon getting home from work,” she said.

A local tenant, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was surprised to see a photo of him in the middle of dumping garbage at the power pole being posted for everyone to see.

“I didn’t dare to ask the house owner to take down the photo as it would be humiliating,” he said.

However, the college student said he had learned to behave in a more civilized manner after the incident.

Although illegal garbage dumping has stopped, residents in the alley have agreed not to take down the photos to prevent the violation from returning.

Mai said she had also proposed the idea to other neighborhoods as a measure of promoting good manners.

An alley in Hanoi is clean of garbage after implementing public shaming of illegal garbage dumpers in this still photo taken from a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper video report.

An alley in Hanoi is clear of garbage after implementing public shaming of illegal garbage dumpers in this still photo taken from a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper video report.

Photo of an illegal garbage dumper are posted on a power pole on a Hanoi alley to discourage violators in this still photo taken from a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper video report.

A photo of an illegal garbage dumper is posted on a power pole in a Hanoi alley to discourage violators in this still photo taken from a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper video report.

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