We are delighted to be able to announce that the Lembeh Foundation Waste Bank in our local village of Pintu Kota Kecil is now open! The bank was officially opened on June 17th with a traditional ceremony which included government officials in attendance as well as a local priest to carry out a blessing of the bank. Immediately after the official opening the children from the village went to the beach to start cleaning up plastic to take to the bank!
For those of you who haven't heard about the waste bank, this is a Lembeh Foundation initiative and the construction of the Waste Bank has been entirely funded by donations. We are extremely grateful to all who have contributed and excited to see this project finally come to fruition.
The Waste Bank Concept
The concept behind the waste bank is to make our local villages more sustainable and to give the local people an economically viable benefit from recycling / upcycling household waste and to carry out clean ups. This is achieved in two ways:
1. The local villagers can bring their used, cleaned and sorted plastics to the waste bank where it is weighed and they are paid for the plastic according to its weight and type.
2. Lembeh Foundation has hosted a series of workshops with women from the village to teach them the skills to be able to upcycle plastic waste into usable items that can be sold in the gift shops of Lembeh Foundation member resorts. Some of the items they are making include shopping bags, pouches, wallets and Christmas decorations will be coming soon. Resorts purchase the finished items from the women and profits made on gift shop sales are put back into the Foundation.
What Happens to the Plastic?
Plastics that are taken to the waste bank will be shipped to Bitung where they are sold to a plastic recycling operation which eventually ships the plastics to Java for the recycling processing.
Our next steps will be to purchase a plastic shredder and wrapping machine so that we will be able to shred and wrap the plastic and send it directly to Java ourselves - which will make the waste bank even more financially sustainable.
We are always extremely grateful for donations which will help us to continue our initiatives within our local Lembeh communities. The waste bank also employs one resident of Pintu Kota Kecil as a caretaker of the Waste Bank and we are hoping to raise enough money to start buying machinery soon! If you would like to make a donation, please contact us on info@LembehFoundation.org. We will send you a donation form and as we are a registered Indonesian Charity (Yayasan), once your donation is received we will also send you a tax form for claiming tax relief.
Thank you for reading - look out for our updates on FaceBook (please "Like" our page) and we hope to see you soon in Lembeh.