Garbage Bank Cleans Banyuurip Dirty Village


Ruskan Hadi and several other elders in Banyuurip felt uncomfortable as his village was known as the dirtiest village in Surababya city, East Java province. Ruskan began to talk with neighbourhood head in Banyuurip to discuss the environment problem. Late October 2010, they established Harapan Makmur garbage bank. It began to collect garbage from community people and sold the garbage to a bigger garbage collector. The previous dirty environment began to change into a clean and healthy environmen

Banyuurip village was known as the dirtiest village in Surabaya city, East Java. The presence of Harapan Makmur garbage bank has made the village clean and healthy.

“When the government made socialisation on clean village, our village was always mentioned as the dirtiest village in Surabaya,” says Ruskan Hadi, 70, the leader of Harapan Makmur garbage bank.

Ruskan Hadi and several other elders in Banyuurip felt uncomfortable with that negative call. They began to talk with neighbourhood head in Banyuurip to discuss the environment problem and immediately collect recycled garbage.

In 2011, Harapan Makmur garbage bank won a competition among garbage banks in Surabaya city that was followed by at least 300 garbage banks. After Harapan Makmur garbage bank won the competition, the talk about Banyuurip village as the dirtiest village in Surabaya disappeared. Now this garbage bank has at least 150 customers, that regularly ‘saves’ recycled garbage in the bank. Like commercial bank customer, each customer of this garbage bank is also provided with personal account.

“When a customer saves recycled garbage, a garbage bank officer will weigh the garbage and write the amount of money equal to the garbage,” says Ruskan, explaining that the customer can withdraw the money anytime he or she needs money.

A kilogramme of cardboard boxes is valued at 1,200 rupiahs (0.12 U dollars) and a kilogramme of plastic is worth 2,500 rupiahs (0.25 US dollars). A kilogramme of crushed plastic glass values 8,500 rupiahs (0.85 US dollars) and a kilogramme of plastic bottles is valued at 6,300 rupiahs (US 0.63 US dollars).

The garbage bank is originally the initiative of the community people, but later World Vision supported it by providing a plastic crushing machine and helped renovate the garbage bank warehouse as well as gives managerial counselling.

“World Vision staff often attends our internal meetings,” Ruskan explains.

Harapan Makmur garbage bank sells recycled garbage it collects to bigger garbage collector that later sells garbage to factory recycling garbage. The establishment of the garbage bank has purely social purpose, such as to help the activities in Early Childhood Care for Development, integrated health post, and medical check-ups for elderly people.

“When there is a need of green beans during Posyandu activity, we give cadres money it,” says Ruskan.

“We arrange a medical check-up for elderly people once in three months by inviting a midwife,” he adds, saying that 150 elderly people get benefit from this activity.

Most of the beneficiaries are the customers of the garbage bank. Harapan Makmur garbage bank also encourages Banyuurip people to wisely use clean water. The bank introduced water filter to ensure people could have clean water. If previously used water from bathroom only goes to a ditch, now they filter the used water and use it to water plants or to clean a motorcycle.

The plastic crushing machine has encouraged Harapan Makmur to get more recycled plastic garbage. There is a need to get more plastic garbage, and Ruskan has idea to empower elderly people benefiting from the presence of the bank.

“Each person is asked to bring three plastic glasses and two plastic bottles in a week. At least there will be 450 plastic glasses and 300 plastic bottles in a week,” says Ruskan.

“Although they are very old, carrying three plastic glasses is an easy task. Even some of them bring 10 plastic bottles,” Ruskan explains.

The challenge for Harapan Makmur garbage bank is that youths are reluctant to be involved in this activity.

“We plan to socialise this activity to youths. We will embrace youths,” Ruskan says

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