Trash bank is a great way to reduce pressure on the landfill sites that are growing, contrary to the first impression that probably comes to mind, has nothing to do with individuals’ financial contributions. A trash bank will allow individuals to grow saving account to keep money by recycling trash. The concept of trash bank is simple, residents who are interested or want to be customers collect recyclable trash including plastic bottles and paper to the bank.
On Sunday 27th October 2019, Act Global volunteers visited one of the trash banks in Denpasar, Sedhana Arsa Trash Bank which is located at Tukad Balian St, Renon, Denpasar. The director of Sedhana Arsa Trash Bank, I Wayan Suarta explained that this trash bank was founded in 2002 and now has been serving more than 3000 customers who are mostly households. Not only household customers, but this trash bank is also serving customers from hotels and villas. For household customers, normally the customers come to bring the trash to the trash bank, but if the trash is in big volume, the trash bank party can pick it up from the customer. As for the hotels and villas, indeed the trash bank party will pick it up from them.
Today, this trash bank has employed 60 people. The director explained to us that even though working in the trash area has a negative stigma in society such as dirty, but there are many things trash has to offer. From the subscription membership, the customer has to pay 50000 IDR per month, chopped plastic and paper is shipped to Java Island and organic trash is used to feed the livestock. So basically from trash, it creates not only one but at least three income streams, so this is a big business opportunity for those who can see it.
Not only trash bank has big business opportunities, but it also good for the environment as it will help to clean the environment. People will be more excited to keep the environment clean if they get paid. If they separate the organic and non-organic trash, the price of the trash is getting higher as well. But the most important is to teach the young generation the importance of keeping the environment clean and it should be part of the schools’ curriculum.
The director of Sedhana Arsa Trash Bank also told us that there are many things that we can learn from this business but we have never learned in school, just like the quotes of Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn”, we will learn more by doing and experience is the best teacher. He also advised us not to underestimate any job even if it looks dirty.