Bali’s recycling scheme: Trash for rice

 Bali’s recycling scheme: Trash for rice

Bali’s Recycling Scheme: Trash for Rice

Bali, the Indonesian island known for its stunning beaches, lush greenery, and vibrant culture, is also known for its waste management problem. The island generates around 3,000 tons of waste every day, and much of it ends up in landfills or polluting the environment. However, a unique recycling scheme is helping to tackle the problem while also providing food for those in need.

The scheme, called “Trash for Rice,” was launched in 2019 by the Bali-based non-profit organization, Eco Bali. The idea is simple: residents can exchange their recyclable waste for rice, a staple food in Indonesia. The program is open to anyone, regardless of their income level, and has been a huge success.

To participate in the program, residents must first register with Eco Bali and receive a special card. They can then bring their recyclable waste to one of the organization’s collection points, where it is weighed and exchanged for rice. The amount of rice given depends on the weight and type of waste, with plastic bottles and aluminum cans being worth more than paper or cardboard.

The collected waste is then sorted and sent to recycling facilities, where it is turned into new products such as furniture, bags, and even building materials. This not only helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills but also creates jobs and supports local businesses.

The program has been a huge success, with over 10,000 people registered and more than 100 tons of waste collected each month. It has also helped to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and reducing waste, with many residents now more conscious of their consumption habits.

The “Trash for Rice” program has also inspired similar initiatives in other parts of Indonesia and beyond. In Jakarta, the capital city, a similar program called “Trash for Gold” allows residents to exchange their waste for gold jewelry.

While the program has been successful, there are still challenges to overcome. One of the biggest is ensuring that the collected waste is properly sorted and recycled, as many recycling facilities in Indonesia are not equipped to handle certain types of waste. There is also a need for more education and awareness-raising about the importance of recycling and reducing waste.

Despite these challenges, the “Trash for Rice” program is a shining example of how innovative solutions can help to tackle environmental problems while also supporting local communities. It is a reminder that small actions can make a big difference, and that we all have a role to play in creating a more sustainable future.