This millionaire man spends his free time picking up trash
Despite being one of the richest men in the city, he takes to the streets with a clothes peg and a bag to keep his streets clean.
Zhong Congrong, a successful businessman from Chongqing, China, has been known as “the millionaire garbage collector”, for his habit of walking the streets armed with a garbage collection claw and of course collecting any waste he finds.
The 52-year-old businessman began cleaning the streets of Chingqing three years ago, after a family trip to Hainan Province, southern China, for the Chinese New Year. There, he found a retired university professor who reportedly had been collecting garbage from one of the local beaches every day for the past four years. I was so impressed with the dedication and commitment of the woman with the garbage collection that she decided to repeat her daily habit in her hometown, as soon as she returned from her vacation.
Interestingly, at the beginning, Congrong’s garbage collection habit attracted a lot of negative attention from both the locals and the media. People simply could not understand why a millionaire who owns real estate, car dealerships and various materials processing factories would duck to pick up the trash by hand. They thought it was just a trick to get attention, but Zhong did not let the negativity distract him.
Even her family was confused by Zhong’s behaviour, at first. His wife and children were ashamed of the negative media coverage of his “eccentric habit” and refused to be seen with him in public. But with the passage of time, the attitude of the people changed. They noticed that their neighborhood was being cleaned thanks to Zhong’s efforts and they began to praise and support him. His wife is now a garbage activist, and he scolds everyone he sees littering on the street.
“If we throw or collect garbage is not related to our academic degree, cultural background, age or socio-economic condition,” said Zhong Congrong.
The millionaire garbage collector has been doing everything possible to inspire others as well. Wear an orange t-shirt that catches your attention with anti-junk slogans every time you go on your garbage search missions, and fine all your workers with 10 yuan if they get dirty in the workplace. However, he is fully aware that broader measures are needed for true change.
“China needs tighter regulations to deter those who are going to throw garbage,” Zhong said. “Relying on self-discipline will not be enough. The Chinese are afraid of “losing face.” They care less about how much they are fined and more about the shame that comes with that. ”
Zhong Congrong may be just one man, but his genuine dedication to solving his city’s garbage problem has inspired millions in China.