At the end of the first half of the year 2014, we can positively look back to the achievements regarding the rubbish program. The main district on Banda Naira, Nusantara, has taken a huge step forward towards managing their waste disposal system. Thanks to the continuous and motivated work of MC-SEA volunteer Elsa Santika, who was stationed on Banda from February until May 2014, a community of Bandanese involved in trade, tourism, gastronomy and conservation has formed. All community members agreed in paying a monthly fee for a bi-daily rubbish pickup that takes the trash directly from the houses to the dump. Thanks to this system, the rubbish pickup is free for all small households who are not able – or not willing yet – to contribute financially. MC-SEA is supporting this system with 500 000 Rp. (~32 €) per month, filling the missing gap in the fund. We are hoping that very soon, people will realize how convenient it is to have the trash picked up directly in front of the house and that more and more Bandanese will be willing to contribute.
The system started on May 1st and has since been running well. It also gives employment to three people handling the rubbish truck and to one worker who is controlling the dump site and keeping the entrance free for the truck to enter. The finances are handled voluntarily by Ibu Joana, the secretary of Nusantara district, a motivated, powerful and very trustworthy woman.
In the last weeks, we could observe a significant decline of plastic trash floating out of the bay. It used to come from the market in Nusantara and had been ruining the beautiful view across the bay. Now, floating plastic can be seen only very rarely. Market sellers have well accepted the new trash bins placed around their stands and even have started reporting people to Ibu Joana if they still dispose their trash in the sea. We are very proud of Elsa’s achievement of the past months as, according to members of the rubbish community, “none of this would have happened so quickly without her”.