Bringing the United States and Vietnam Closer Together through Educational Exchange


David Duong

Photo of  David Duong Mr. David Duong arrived in the United States with his family in 1979, having left Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975. While his younger siblings went to school during the day, David worked during the day and went to school at night to learn English. By the early 1980s recycling in California had not yet become the industry it is today, and David and his family saw opportunity there. They began in San Francisco's Financial District with a small recyclables collection operation and rapidly built the business into a full-service recycling and secondary materials brokering company.

In 1989 David and his family successfully sold their company, CoGiDo Recycling, to a large national waste management company and David assumed the position of General Manager of an integrated waste management operating company.

In 1992 David established California Waste Solutions, Inc., and won his first local government contract, a contract to implement residential curbside recycling collection and processing in Oakland. David built a new processing facility in West Oakland. Not long thereafter he won more contracts with more government agencies and began buying materials from the nation's largest garbage companies. Since starting his first company, David has been committed to adopting new technologies for recycling and waste management.

Today California Waste Solutions operates from six properties in the San Francisco Bay Area, has three state-of-the-art recyclables processing facilities, and operates a fleet of approximately 70 brand new ultra low emissions heavy collection vehicles, for its municipal residential collection contracts in San Jose and Oakland, California. The fleet is managed through computerized routing and is tracked continuously with satellites, making it possible to perform customer service and custom order processing on a real-time basis.

In 2005 David was awarded a contract to design, construct, and operate a sanitary landfill in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon.) This facility was to be designed, built, and operated to Western standards and U.S. EPA guidelines. Through his company, Vietnam Waste Solutions, David successfully opened the Da Phuoc Integrated Waste Management Facility in Ho Chi Minh City last year and now has the first modern sanitary waste disposal facility in Vietnam. David has one of the most advanced reverse-osmosis waste water treatment facilities in the world and is treating waste liquids to drinking-water standards at the Da Phuoc facility. The facility has large-scale recycling, landfill gas-to-energy, and composting operations scheduled for start-up in 2010 and currently receives 3,000 tons per day of municipal solid waste every day. The facility also boasts state-of-the-art odor suppression systems and spray-on concrete and fiber-based intermediate cover technology for managing surface water and odor. No other facility in the region operates this many different technologies for managing the landfill and contiguous environments.

At any given moment, David's companies may be collecting, processing or brokering recyclables from over seven million people in Northern California. The Da Phuoc facility in Ho Chi Minh City serves another approximately seven million people.

In May 2008, Mr. Duong was the recipient of the prestigious Bay Trade Global Award, presented by The Bay Area World Trade Center, for his achievements of world trade and environmental stewardship by building his successful and global environmental stewardship. He has served as a Commissioner on the Oakland Waste Reduction and Recycling Commission, a Commissioner on the Oakland International Trade Commission, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Vietnamese American Entrepreneur Association, a Director on the Board of Directors for the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, and a Member of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Duong is very active in local charities and job development programs in California and Vietnam.