Publication

Urban Ocean: Can Tho

Urban Ocean is helping Can Tho identify gaps in its solid waste management system towards enhancing the city's river waste management and recycling facilities.
Jun 2022

Can Tho is the largest city in the flat Vietnamese Mekong Delta region, situated on the bank of the Hau Giang River and southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. Growing urbanization, economic development, and improved living standards have caused a sharp growth in municipal solid waste, especially in urban districts. The city envisions that by 2030, 100% of municipal solid waste will be collected and treated, and 90% of waste will be recycled, reused, and recovered. However, achieving the city’s vision may be difficult, because waste generation is increasing and will likely exceed the treatment capacity of the existing plant and landfills in the coming years.

Through the Urban Ocean program, Can Tho aims to identify gaps in its solid waste management system that contribute to leakage and leverage opportunities towards enhancing the city’s river waste management and recycling facilities.


Project Statement

Enhancing Can Tho’s River Waste Management and Recycling Facilities focuses on creating an enabling environment for recycling businesses to prosper while demonstrating how a well-managed waste cycle in urban areas can enhance tourism, economic activity and equity and support the cleaning of the city’s rivers.

The Project Statement outlines the city’s vision for the project and the impact it aims to achieve, highlighting the urgency of the issue and the importance of taking immediate action.

Read Can Tho’s Project Statement


Circularity Assessment Protocol (CAP) Report

Between October 2020 and January 2021, a team from the DRAGON Institute at Can Tho University, with guidance and support from the Circularity Informatics Lab, conducted fieldwork in the city of Can Tho, Vietnam. The CAP was conducted with support from the city’s local government, Resilience Officers, and the larger Urban Ocean team.

The CAP, developed by the Circularity Informatics Lab at the University of Georgia, is a standardized method of collecting community-level data on plastic usage to inform decision-makers. 

Read Can Tho’s CAP Report

Read Can Tho’s CAP Report (Vietnamese)


Case Study

The Con Son isle is embracing its potential as the ecotourism destination of Can Tho while addressing a major challenge that often goes hand in hand with tourism: increased waste production. In order to reduce plastic consumption and help maintain the growing ecotourism, the island implemented a multi-stakeholder program to reintroduce natural products as packaging materials. The coalition-building process with related businesses such as travel companies was a core element of the program, who sponsored the initial program funding.

The case study series aims to highlight good examples in resilient urban waste management from across the world.

Read Can Tho’s Case Study


Urban Ocean is a capacity-building and accelerator program to end ocean plastic pollution and build more resilient communities in cities. Urban Ocean champions circular economy principles, builds awareness of ocean plastic, assesses waste management systems and supports cities to develop projects that address the interrelated challenges of ocean plastics and resilience. Since 2020, the program has been implemented in cities across Asia and Latin America. The program is jointly implemented by Resilient Cities NetworkOcean Conservancy and The Circulate Initiative.

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