Friday, March 19, 2010

Reading Week in Indonesia - The Trash Cans and The Signs

This post is the seventh in a series about my reading week in Indonesia. The previous part was about how we visited a school. If you want, you can also start at the beginning here.

In addition to painting the mural, we also sought to increase visibility of our message in other ways while also providing a practical solution to the problem. This culminated with our implementation of trash cans and the putting up of signs with our message. I mentioned previously that one of the problems before was that people were unaware of the impact they were having, but another major problem was that the places to dispose of their garbage weren't easily accessible enough. We felt that putting up trash bins and signs would help this.

First the trash cans. Here's our design:
One side has the 'guy throwing trash in trash can symbol' from the mural and the other side has the IIWC logo. The top says 'Jagalah Kebersihan' or 'Keep Clean'. This is pretty much how we designed the mural too.

Here's us doing our painting on the trash bins (we had 3, which we brought from the city):
Each group of 2 worked on one can:
I've become an expert painter now:
The final result!
Here's our implementation of the trash cans. We put one here near the swimming hole:
One here near where everyone does their washing:
And one here near where everyone buys food and such:We consulted with the local shop owners and they were very supportive of what we were trying to do. They said they would empty the trash cans at night (as well as to lock them up so they don't get stolen).

Just a few hours after we put them there, they were already being put to good use!

OK next, we also decided to put up signs reminding people not to throw trash just anywhere. First we had to buy the material for the signs:
Then we had to form the signs (don't want people cutting themselves on the sharp edges!)
Everyone painted their own sign (our leaders came up with the Indonesian slogans for us)
It was a pretty relaxing activity compared to the physical work from the first half of the week.
Again, me demonstrating my painting pro-ness:
Here's my finished sign!(It reads 'Buanglah Sampah di Tempah Sampah' or 'Throw Garbage in (the) Garbage Can')

The top one reads "Don't take the fish" (from when we restocked the fish) and the bottom one reads "Don't throw garbage into the river".
KEEP CLEAN!Also, the sign at the beginning says "Don't dirty Senjoyo".

This was one of those activities that really fit in well with the overall goals of the project. Implementing the trash cans was practical, visible and easy enough to do. At first, I was worried that we would just be putting them there and no one would take care of them afterward, but after we talked with the shop owners, who were worried about protecting the natural environment of Senjoyo as well, I felt optimistic that things would actually change. When I first heard about the project, I didn't really know how much of an impact we would have, but seeing people use the trash bins and take responsibility for their actions was a big step forward.

You can move on to part eight (The Fish Restocking and The Tree Planting) or go back to part six (The School Visit).

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