Located in a semi-urban and industrial area, communities were irked by piles of garbage. People in Map Ta Phut communities have to band together and make a concerted effort to cope with waste problems.
“We brainstormed to find solutions. Finally, we came up with the idea of having community members sort waste into sellable and unsellable items. And once we do that, the waste problems will be solved, and the community will be cleaner and tidier.”
This solution put up by Mr. Chamlong Homhuan is clever and effective. The community president of Khod Hin 2 invented the “Eco-Loop,” made from fishing nets which are widely available in the community, and later gave them to community members. The fishing-net eco-loop is used to collect waste items like glass bottles, plastic bottles, paper, and shampoo bottles, etc.
To date, there are over 200 households joining Community Like Waste (Waste-Free Community) in Rayong province. They are from Khod Hin 2 community, Khod Hin Mittaphap community, and Khao Phai community. Mr. Chamlong aims to grow membership since he wants to encourage all households to take a waste-sorting approach.
However, waste management practices are not limited at the household level. The same methods are extended to other parts of the community.
And “Khod Hin Temple” is one of them.
Apart from being a center of the community, Khod Hin Temple (Paksikiriram) is where temple devotees come to drop offerings. It is not easy to have all these items managed and optimized the way it should be.
“From my observation, devotees usually put food and alms in single-use plastics. They get food of those plastic bags and those bags, plenty of bags, become garbage. I urged those devotees to make merits by rinsing, drying, and sorting these plastic bags for the temple to sell and use the proceeds as scholarships for novice monks. This will be mutual merits. And they are very cooperative.”
Not only this approach is used as a way to effectively cut packaging waste, Acariya Mahanakrop Akkarathammo, abbot of Khod Hin Temple also broaden the scope of practice to yard waste, food waste, offering buckets and monk robes.
“We build a pot rest for yard waste collection, and this waste is converted into organic fertilizer and nutrition-rich soil. The food waste is turned into animal feed. The offering buckets are reused as classroom trash bins. The monk robes in good condition left by former monks at the temple are transformed into a cloth mask for COVID-19 prevention. We also add a blessed pattern design used as a stratagem to encourage people to wear the face mask.”
In her early days as the school principal of Khod Hin Mittaphap Ti 42 School, Ms. Boosaba Thanaporn found that the school was struggling with waste overload. She then asked the temple for unused offering buckets and recycled them into classroom bins.
“We sort four types of waste: wood, paper, plastic, and milk bags. We include students in the recycling process. For wood, we have students invent something from it while the plastic items are crafted into flower vests and pencil boxes. For leftover paper, we make notebooks and paper-mache angel hats for the temple used for ceremonial purposes. Milk bags are washed clean and sent to SCG to make recycled tables and chairs.”
Proper waste management practices at Khod Hin Mittaphap Ti 42 help reduce waste volume substantially. As the waste amount goes down, the environmental consciousness among students is on the rise.
All children are not only the future of Khod Hin community but also Thailand.
Mr. Napat Poomrattanachote, Manager of Khao Phai Waste Bank
“KoomKah” is an application developed by SCG to help streamline waste management and collaboration between the waste bank and the community. People in the communities find this method a compelling and unique way as it incorporates digital technology into a conventional waste bank. The arrival of the application helps fruitfully double waste bank’s membership.”
“We think that waste management should not be an individual or a community’s responsibility but everyone’s.”