An exciting start to 2023 for CLEAR in Java!

Since our early days sowing seeds of change in the village of Batukaras, CLEAR Community’s impact has spread organically and we are now recognised across the wider region for our highly proactive and progressive approach to waste management. Our approach to mentoring and empowering local people is a result of our work over many years supporting community development with stakeholders, villagers and community groups.  

We’ve had a busy and exciting start to 2023, and have yet more new initiatives which we’ll be reporting in detail about in the weeks ahead. Here’s a quick glimpse of some of the impact we’ve been having since the start of the year…

Building momentum… Supporting local children to run their own school recycling system

At an existing partner school, Elementary School 5 Selasari, the students have been participating in a waste collection program. Each week the students bring valuable waste into school to fill up sacks that are then sold to a trader. Since the school began the program three months ago not only have the students continued to fill all the sacks consistently, but they have also sorted and processed the waste, resulting in a higher payment from the trader. This process is similar to that of a typical waste bank and is a great initiative from the students. 

Last month…. New community permaculture gardening and upcycling initative

In Geulis, one of the current waste bank villages, an excess of large plastic bottles and ample space for planting inspired the team to create a gardening system at the waste bank. The waste bank is conveniently located close to a sheep farm and in January, using a mixture of sheep manure and kitchen waste as soil, the community began planting seeds. The plastic bottles are cut in half to create two plant pots with holes in the bottom for draining. By mid-February the waste bank was able to swap the now young plants into the larger plastic bottle pots and use them as decorations around their saung (traditional bamboo shelter). They hope to harvest vegetables, using their new gardening system, in the coming month.

February event… Indonesian National Waste Concern Day

As part of the celebration of National Waste Concern Day on 21st February, the Java team will be presenting at two schools in Cigugur, coming together to discuss waste management and how we can engage younger members of the community. Additionally, at the waste bank, the team will attempt to repurpose cooking oil into candles. In Pangandaran, there is oil appropriately. Not only will this project help to prevent cooking oils from damaging the environment through their incorrect disposal, but also create a product that can be used by the Ibu-Ibu (women) at home during power outages and be sold at our newest waste bank.

Coming soon… Teenagers take a lead!

The team has identified Margacinta as a potential new waste bank village however, in contrast to many of the existing waste banks which are run by the ‘Ibu-Ibu’ (local women), it will be local teenagers being encouraged and supported to operate the waste bank and lead its activities. We hope this will provide positive weekend activities for the teenagers and motivate them to take ownership of the waste bank. Our team is still in the process of the discussing the program and the technical aspects of the waste bank with local stakeholders. We look forward to updating you later in the year about how this fresh new team are getting on!