Viet Duc High School

Hanoi, Vietnam

Project Team

Viet Duc High School Students



An award-winning restaurant has built a loyal fan base with its delicious cuisine from around Vietnam. But students at Viet Duc High School are less enthusiastic about the restaurant’s clean-up routines. Here, they offer solutions for combining world-class dining with environmentally sustainable practices.

Viet Duc Students
Hello everyone! We are students fromViet Duc High School in Hanoi. We are very proud of our school, which has a long tradition of history and development. Over the years, every generation at our school hasn’t stopped trying, practicing, and improving themselves. For our “Going Green” project, we decided to look into what restaurants can do to minimize their industry’s negative impact on the environment. We chose restaurants as our research focus because there are so many of them in Hanoi and everywhere in Vietnam and worldover. However, what we discovered is that many restaurant owners do not realize how much their businesses add to environmental pollution and ultimately to climate change. Our beloved Earth is being destroyed by pollution, resource depletion, and global warming, and we hope to encourage restaurant owners to do their part to protect it.

But, before we tell you more about our project, here’s a short video clip we made of our school, and you can also meet our project team.

In the video below, we take you inside Quan An Ngon, a very popular and famous restaurant in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district. The restaurant is arranged and decorated in an old Vietnamese style, giving diners a sense of eating in a traditional market displaying dishes from all regions of Vietnam.  People wait in long line for their turn to be served their favorite dishes.  In October of 2010, Quan An Ngon became the only restaurant inVietnam to be named one of the top five restaurants in Asia by the Miele Guide Magazine of Singapore.

Examples of Pollution Problems Noted at Quan An Ngon

  • The number of bowls and dishes is very large because the restaurant serves all day, with three main meals for a huge number of customers. Washing happens in a narrow section and close to the cooking area. Finished dishes collected from tables are washed quickly at different sinks with lots of detergents.
  • Looking at the sinks, we can easily see that the majority of wastewater has black or milky color, is bubbly and smelly, and doesn’t reach prescribed standards.
  • Wastewater from the cooking area flows through the garbage fenders, the grease-separation section and garbage hole, and then it runs into the sewer. However, it is apparent that the garbage fenders’ size is too small to adequately filter as required by environmental safety standards.
  • The amount of one day’s garbage from the restaurant is very large and, importantly, it isn’t sorted into trash bags.
  • The restaurant doesn’t have a suitable waste treatment system to ensure the garbage quality before discarding it into the common sewers of the city.

“Going Green” Proposal for Quan An Ngon

1. Physical treatment method:
Wastewater consists of insoluble elements in suspended form. To split these elements up, people often use mechanical methods such as filtering waste through a garbage fender or trash screen. Then, sediment is made by gravity or centrifugal force.

Garbage fender: Before the wastewater of the restaurant runs into the treatment system, it flows through the garbage fender. Here, large chunks of debris such as rags, cans, or nylons will be retained so that the pipeline and channels do not get clogged. This is an important step to ensure safety and smooth processes for the whole system. However, the garbage fender should be re-made with smaller meshes.

Deposition sand: The deposition sand tank is designed to separate insoluble inorganic impurities with the size ranging from 0.2 mm to 2mm from wastewater. Thus, the pipeline won’t get stuck by sand and the process will flow smoothly.

Deposition tank: This stores suspended sediment particles available in wastewater from tank 1 or those created from the coagulation flocculation or biological treatment process.

2. Limit the use of detergents with high concentration of toxin
At present, there are new detergents with limited toxic elements available on the market. They are safer for the environment and less bubbly, so they also save on water usage.

3. Proposed steps for effective washing
Use specific washing towels to wash away leftovers and layers of fat on dishes.
Use hot water to wash dishes before washing again with cold water and detergents.
Use new detergents with limited toxic and foaming elements that are safer for users and the environment.

Some Challenges to Implementing Our Proposal

  • The cost of building a prescribed waste treament system is high, and not all restaurants can afford it.
  • Finding detergents with limited toxic and foaming elements is hard because this issue hasn’t been widely researched and applied in Vietnam.
  • Even if the restaurant has the budget to construct deposition tanks and a waste treatment system, it also takes time, which affects its daily business.

Still, by talking with owners and managers of restaurants like Quan An Ngon about what they can do to reduce their negative environmental impact, we are contributing our small effort to fight against environmental pollution and global warming. We welcome your comments and questions.


  1. rena
    September 8, 2016

    I think that limiting the negative impact on restaurants is good idea because most people do not think of restaurants as a cause of pollution. This project will help bring attention to the amount of trash and harmful detergent toxins that damage the environment. The project has very well organized steps and is very clear.

    • Your School Name: Scarsdale High School
  2. sierra donovan
    September 8, 2016

    This definitely rose my awareness to how much restaurants contribute in polluting the environment. The scientific solutions to the problems with the detergents and waste products show the deep research you took to fully understand the situation. Improving the cleaning system is a win win for the customers eating of the dishes and the environment. I am very impressed with your project!

    • Your School Name: Scarsdale High School
  3. krissa
    September 2, 2016

    The idea of using restaurants as a subject was very good because everyone knows about its environmental impact. Garbage are rampant in restaurants and this problem is not taken seriously by most management so this topic is an eye opener to everyone especially to us costumers.

    • w. sohn
      August 31, 2016

      I love how you used videos to let me visualize your community! This helped me focus more on reading about your project. I love your critical thinking to assess your community; instead of simply praising the restaurant that was named one of the top restaurants in Asia, you analyzed pollution problems behind the glory. I could see that you took time to think about the environmental problems behind the restaurant. Although I know that it will be hard to propose solutions to these problems related to that restaurant, you should still be more specific in your proposed solutions. For instance, what do yo mean by “specific washing towels”? Otherwise, well done!

      • Your School Name: Cebu International School
    • john neering
      August 23, 2016

      There are many non-toxic biodegradable cleaning supplies at least here in the US. Maybe the students could research some of these and make their own non or less toxic detergents. Also food wastes could easily be separated from the garbage stream and used as compost to grow organic food for the restaurants to keep them in the loop so they continue to separate the garbage.

      • Your School Name: Scarsdale HS
    • nick
      June 25, 2016

      Your project is a good example of how even as students, we can make a difference in our community and in the world. Based on your research, you came up with practical going green solutions for the restaurant. I hope the owner will implement your ideas, but in any case, your project makes me realize that my friends and I could do something like this for our community service requirement. Thanks for the great idea.

      • navdeep b.
        May 25, 2016

        I really liked this project because it shows just basic things a famous restaurant can do in order to be more environmentally friendly. Hopefully these changes will be an example and other restaurants will follow suit and this will have a monumental effect on the environment. I just have a couple questions though. What do you mean by sorting the garbage? Do they have recycling in Vietnam? Recycling is a great way to minimize the amount of harmful waste to get into the environment and it makes sure that all harmful waste is disposed in the proper way.

        • denise s.
          May 25, 2016

          I would like to know if health education is part of the physical education curriculum in 10th grade in Vietnam.
          can anyone answer this question? Thank you

          • kathy n.
            May 25, 2016

            This is a great going green project with practical solutions that are easy for restaurants anywhere in the world to adopt. I look forward to sharing some of your ideas with several restaurants in my town.

            • courtney & ciara
              May 25, 2016

              Great Job! Restaurants should really think about what they and the products they use are doing to our environment! 🙂

              • atchara
                May 25, 2016

                I agree with your solutions to save the environment. Some solutions are practical and easy to adopt in my daily life.

                • nate
                  May 25, 2016

                  Wow!!That really is a problem that not only your country but many other countries may have around the world. It was great how you found out the many environmental problems on this restaurant. Using less bubbly soap and having specific towels for cleaning plates is a great way to limit pollution and help on going green.

                  • zoé
                    May 25, 2016

                    Finding environmentally friendly solutions for restaurants is a very good idea! Good job analyzing the challenges the restaurant had, like the use of detergent and the way they dispose the food. I hope that the restaurant uses the solutions so that the channels and pipelines won’t be clogged.

                    • kaimana s.
                      May 25, 2016

                      I support this because it will help bigger companies see a much cleaner future.

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