Phosai Romyen Community was once a clean and pleasant community in Nakhon Luang District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province, until it turned into a place full of waste.
Ms. Panwadee Poonsawad, Community President, realized the issues and formed a group with colleagues to establish a community waste bank.
Members of the waste bank at the Phosai Romyen Community can earn an extra interest rate, which is a revived cleanliness and beautification of the community.
Waste Problems Arising Due to Attitudes
In the past, Phosai Romyen Community was a clean and pleasant place before the emergence of urbanization and industrialization. Such arrival has transformed the community into a place inundated with trash.
Ms. Panwadee Poonsawad, President of Phosai Romyen Community in Moo 5, Nakhon Luang Sub-district, Nakhon Luang district, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province had attempted to solve waste issues in the community. But it was futile due to the lack of community participation for change.
Initially, the 66-year-old community president thought that it might have been because of the trash bin’s presence that contributes to waste problems. She believed that if there are no trash bins, villagers will work to manage their waste. She launched a forceful campaign asking municipal workers to remove all trash bins in the community. However, her move faced a backlash to the point that she had to let everything back to the same old way.
Waste problems are predominantly caused by attitudes. Many villagers live so comfortably and don’t see the value in waste. Experienced with a lack of community participation, Panwadee pitched a new approach. As a community president, she formed a team with about 10 members discussing how to deal with community waste and motivate people to start sorting waste.
After the meeting, everybody concluded that a waste bank must be established to develop proper waste management.
After a lengthy brainstorming session, everyone agreed to hold a robe offering ceremony to raise funds for a community waste bank. The team obtained 6,740 Baht from donations at the ceremony and waste sales and used it as initial capital. Panwadee came to realize that the prior lack of cooperation was that they don’t see value in waste management. If waste becomes valuable, they will certainly cooperate.
“After seeing a favorable tendency and feedback, we opened the waste bank and informed every household of its opening. If anyone wants to become a member, they can apply it at the community office.”
To apply for membership, the applicant must bring a trash item to the committee and fill out the application form. After that, they will get the waste bank book, which will record all waste transactions regarding deposits or withdrawals. Aside from receiving interests and waste sales higher than the market price, at the end of the year, there will be a lucky draw for prizes such as bicycles, fans, bedding, etc. To date, the waste bank has over 110 members, and the number keeps growing.
“The person who has the highest savings now has around 3,000 Baht. By just managing waste, they can earn this extra money and do many things with it.”
Villagers are earning more income while the community is becoming cleaner. This is a true story on the ground about waste management at Phosai Romyen community.
After obtaining waste, waste bank committees will divide waste items into two types: recyclables and non-recyclables.
The recyclable items will be collected for sales. One collection weighing up to 1,000 kilograms each round. The non-recyclables will be used for craftwork for sales. They are made with pure creativity and craftsmanship. The organic waste will be used to feed earthworms in order to produce organic fertilizers for tree growth. A drop-off point for hazardous items is available at the community office. These hazardous items will be properly managed by the municipality and provincial authorities.
As wastes are adequately managed and sorted, they have their paths. As a result, there will be only little waste left to be disposed of.
It is not exaggerating to say that they are on the right path towards comprehensive waste management.