Minggu, Februari 13, 2011

Saving Trash Harvesting Rupiah

Gemah Ripah Bank provide unique services of garbage. It has successfully increased environment awareness of Badegan Village residents.

Mounting piles of burlap sacks occupy one corner of Gemah Ripah Bank office in Badegan village, Bantul, Yogyakarta. It's not contained with piles of bank notes or coins, but a farrago of waste which are classified according to type. There are cardboard, plastics, paper, bottles, and cans.

Gemah Ripah Bank was not just any bank. The Bank, established in February two years ago was only serving garbage from customers savings transactions. It also has limited operational hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 16:00 pm to 18:00 pm.

According to Bambang Suwerda, founder of the trash bank, Gemah Ripah is shorthand for "gerakan memilah sampah dan resikel sampah (the movement of waste sorting and recycling )". The initial goal, to overcome the problem of garbage and waste in the Village Badegan being infected with dengue fever. "Thus, the economic motive was the second priority," he said.

The mechanism of the banks that have capital initial 500,000 Rupiah ( US$ 50) was similar to commercial banks. Each customer has a savings book and account number. "Every customer deposits recorded in the books of the banks," said Bambang who works as lecturer of Yogyakarta's Health Polytechnic.

Books usually placed in the teller's desk is open and can be seen by all customers. Waste deposit is labeled with customer name, amount, and when handed. Later collected in accordance with its type in the locker bank. The customer and the bank holding the note delivery.

At this stage, the calculation of the conversion of waste into the currency value has not been done. The calculation will be done at harvest time, which on average carried out once a month. When customer's saving already mounting, the bank will call the collectors. It is them who determine the price of each type of waste.

Waste paper collectors purchase HVS paper with the highest nominal, 1500 Rupiah/kilogram. Tin cans 1,000 Rupiah/ kilogram, used boxes 900 Rupiah/kilogram, and the used paper other than HVS 300 Rupiah/kilogram.

Nasrullah, one of bank's collectors, was benefited by the waste management model that applied by Gemah Ripah Bank. Besides being a guarantee of supply, as well as the trash has been classified according to their kinds. "Moreover, the deposits continue to rise and consistent," said Nasrullah, who give the bank a bonus 14-inch television as a form of satisfaction with the bank's cooperation.

After the transaction the bank completed by the mediator, the bank recorded the rupiah value of the customers waste saving in accordance with the records in the ledger. Bambang explained, every harvest, banks can reap the results of 300,000 Rupiah to 500,000 rupiah. Banks set aside 15% of the crop for operational costs of the bank.

Each customer can only take the savings every three months. The reason, wait for adequate amount of customer savings. "So far, the highest record of a customer is 200,000 Rupiah," said Bambang.

The customers did not mind taking it over a period. According to one customer, Panut Susanto, who has saving of 150,000 Rupiah, "It's not bad for extra money," smiling Panut said.

At this time, this trash bank has 118 customers, comprised of individuals, families, neighborhood (Rukun Tetangga), and institutions. The number of bank employees as many as 12 persons, who work voluntarily. While balance position of Gemah Ripah Bank until the end of January has reached 2 millions Rupiah.


Though now the bank got good response from Badegan villagers, Bambang admitted at the beginning was not easy to convince residents. That happened because the Badegan villagers which located not far from Yogyakarta city, has rural-urban transition character. Suburban communities are so hard to get. "I prefer city or village not that in between," said the man who was born in Sleman, July 9, 1969.

But, Bambang not losing his mind. He is targeting children to teach how important is a good waste management. How it's done? By making the kids name on behalf of family account.

The trick worked. Now there are 40 families accounts using child's name. Children are happy because they felt had a bank book. They were diligent in coming to the bank to save waste.

In addition, Bambang diligently went to schools around Badegan to teach on how to manage the waste. The result, three kindergartens and a school has become a customer. Another way that Bambang do to arouse awareness of protecting the environment is a social gathering, from door to door and go around the village by car with loudspeakers.

The results were not disappointing. Twelve neighborhoods ( Rukun Tetangga) at Badegan already have an account at the bank. In every strategic place in each neighborhood trash cans placed three different colors for different types of waste. Green for cans and bottles, blue for plastic, and yellow for the paper. "Indeed there are still people who piled up and burned trash in the yard of the house," said the father of three children.


After the second birthday, Bambang plans to widen the types of services the Gemah Ripah Bank. It offers a residual waste management that is all types of waste that can not be saved and can't be calculated by the collectors. Rubbish include baby diapers, sanitary napkins, batteries, and glass.

The service that collaborate with Department of Public Works (DPU) of Bantul, has aims managing residual waste easily, cheaply, and do not contaminate the environment. Unlike the previous garbage service savings, this service does not convert the waste into rupiah. Conversely, each family actually pay 8000 Rupiah/month. This price is still cheaper than a monthly subscription fee of garbage workers who reached 20,000 Rupiah.

According to Bambang, the distribution of funds cash from the residents is 30% for Rukun Tetangga and 70% for the bank. In order to lessen the cost of bank charges to the DPU, residual waste is delivered every two weeks pedicab driver. "So, this will make employment as well," Bambang added. Pedicab fare for only 20,000 Rupiah.

Not only the waste residues will be processed the bank. Organic waste were not spared from its attention. They began to make compost and biopori around bank branches. They also develop a disinfectant with a simple water filtration system.

Actually all various types of waste management for the benefit of residents carried out before the official stand Gemah Ripah Bank. Bambang include it in the Environmental Health Workshop Program which is his practical work field as a lecturer in 2008.

The first workshop program is manage the cork waste and grated coconut. Two of these materials, when mixed with cement and sand, can be a raw materials for brick and made to various crafts. For example souvenir, flower pots, and place the flag.

After the cork waste, Bambang Badegan invites residents to process plastic waste, especially packaging beverages and snacks. Some residents who seriously follow the program given the training. The result, plastic-plastic sewn into bags, backpacks, and small containers. The price starts from 3,000 Rupiah to the most expensive, the 60,000 Rupiah for the backpack.


Mothers Creativity in Processing Waste

Rini Sampah's name sounds familiar to the ear Krobokan villagers, Semarang, Central Java. Even the name of this beat her real name: Emiliana Suci Suborini. No wonder, because 47-year-old woman had been tens of years hanging out with the trash ( sampah in Indonesian language).

Her modest home filled with hundreds of crafts made from trash. There are dolls made from perfume bottles decorated with dried leaves and coffee packs. There are also wall hangings from seeds bay, where the tissues of used boxes, sandals, and a shopping bag of instant noodle packages.

Rini recycling expertise nurtured since high school. Since then, she made hundreds of works which are often displayed in various exhibitions in Semarang. Rini also shared her knowledge to the neighbors, by providing free training making crafts from waste.

To get a supply of garbage, Rini with Ning Ahmad, the Krobokan village chief's wif, initiated garbage charity program. In regular meetings every week, all villagers shall have sorted garbage charity. The waste is then processed PKK who guided by Rini and Ning. "If I had been hard to find trash, now neighbors who give us a lot," said smiling Rini.

Plastic waste is processed into handicrafts, while kitchen waste, except green onion and egg shells, processed into compost. The method used is the composter with the jar. How made it fairly simple. Filled the jars with 1 cm thick sand, the remaining vegetables, and calcium oxide. After closing for three months, the compost can be used as natural fertilizer.

Mother creativity of waste recycling was not spared from Unilever monitoring, a consumer goods manufacturer who became one of the main sources of producing plastic waste. Since nine years ago, mothers in Surabaya households received information about the segregation of organic and inorganic waste of a biggest consumer goods companies in Indonesia. They also received training to make compost and crafts from plastic waste.

Initially, Green & Clean Surabaya programs that have only two cadres. After five years, to 5,000 cadres environment. Green & Clean Surabaya success is ultimately inspire people in other cities to create a clean, green, and comfortable.

At this time, it reached 100,000 people, scattered in various cities, such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Makassar, Medan, Bandung and Banjarmasin. Recycled product of the mothers were given a brand, Trashion. Distribution of the goods has been expanded to various cities and reaches a variety of levels of society. Thanks to these works, the housewives had managed to keep the their kitchen runs well.

* it has been selected as a Finalist in the 2010 Developing Asia Journalism Awards (DAJA) Competition, Tokyo, Japan. Originally published in Bahasa Indonesia with title "Menabung Sampah Menuai Rupiah" at Majalah Gatra Volume 17/Year XVI, 10 March 2010

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