This project seeks to turn trash into treasure. “Srikandhi – Semarang Trash Bank, An Innovative Waste Management System in Tandang” gathers non-organic waste in Tandang village of Java and then processes it into items that can be sold. The project aims to stimulate creativity while promoting a change in mindset toward waste.
Tandang Village in central Java has been experiencing population growth as a result of economic immigration, and as people have fled the many natural disasters in the northern coastal city of Semarang. Poor urban migrants settled on the steep hills in Tandang, in ramshackle homes subject to the risk of landslides. Most of these people work in the informal sector. Tandang lacks a proper a waste management system, and waste is discarded on hillsides, along the river, or in canals.
This project seeks to turn waste into creative and useful products that can be sold. It provides waste transport using modified motors to facilitate “deposits” to the waste “bank.” At the Srikandhi Creative House, the waste is separated and urban poor are trained on how to process it into economic products. For instance, plastic waste and packaging are converted into useful items . The project intends to hold regular art-trash events to sell the products.
Helping the planet
Recycling waste prevents pollution, for example in the form of toxic chemicals leaching into water sources. Revaluing materials could also reduce demand for raw materials, decreasing the pressure of extracting virgin resources and reducing the accompanying environmental impacts.
The urban poor who turn trash into treasures have the opportunity to earn money through their creative efforts. All villagers benefit from less solid waste, which creates a more hygienic and pleasant urban environment.
This program aims to transform mindsets through helping people consider waste as a valuable resource that can be processed and reused. This is done through engaging the community and working with media partners. Once this change in mindset is achieved, then greater societal change can be attained. Longer-term planning includes participation in conferences and events, which could also help the project grow.
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