Viet Duc High School
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.