Project Everest

Work Update

[JAN 18] Recycling education in Timor

ERS has come leaps and bounds in education over January.

 

Driven by a desire to bring change to Timor Leste’s culture of casually discarding waste, we entered schools with the aim to educate youth and spark new attitudes towards taking care of the environment.

 

We began with the international school QSI, where we ran a recycling workshop with Kindergarten, who were super cute. We asked students to compare photos of clean environments and environments covered in rubbish. Students overwhelmingly agreed that clean environments were preferable, and that to achieve this we must put rubbish in bins. Furthermore, students were excited by the idea of recycling and were able to segregate successfully.

 

We then ran the same workshop with Year 4 in Canossa school, which is a local school. Again students emphatically preferred the clean environments, and said that to achieve this rubbish goes in bins. They also agreed that recycling is a good idea and could segregate.

 

Our contact with schools has opened up the potential for schools to become our customers. Each school we spoke with expressed their concern for the environment, and expressed their frustration at the lack of responsible waste management in Dili. Because of this they are interested in our service.

 

The most exciting education developments were recycling workshops that we ran with university students and Red Cross volunteers. The aim of these workshops was to recruit locals who can then run recycling education workshops in high schools themselves. This allows us to delegate the task of teaching the community and also to rapidly expand the schools that we reach. At the workshops we asked for volunteers to pitch why recycling is important and we were very impressed by the standard.

 

The next stage in education is a potential partnership with Timor Foundation. This would involve us teaching the Directors of all 13 districts in Timor about recycling, who would then teach their people about it. Timor Foundation would pay us for our teaching service, and this agreement would allow us to expand our recycling collection service throughout the districts, which is very exciting.

 

In summary our exploration and implementation of a recycling education program has allowed us to empathise with the community. We have been pleasantly surprised that many locals believe in the importance of recycling but just lack the means of doing it. This provides a great avenue for our business. We have also found that our education program is an excellent marketing tool: it presents us as the “entire package” and helps us to get customers on board.

 

We are pleased with the progress we have made in education this month and are excited to see what the February team does with the business. We are interested in people's thoughts on the value of education to the business model. And any ideas for recycling paper?

 

Obrigada,

 

Jessica

edited on 16th January 2019, 09:01 by Rose Gooding

Scott Jucius Jan 30, 2018

Hey Jess, with regards to ideas for recycling paper, as I often come up with crazy ideas, I thought that perhaps it would be possible to use paper for mulching in the agricultural sector. According to a somewhat credible source (Menzies (Pablo)) who provided me with some information regarding mulch, using paper would stop the growth of weeds and trap moisture in the soil by reducing evaporation. The idea would more than likely not work with all types of paper, as some may be toxic for plants, therefore more research would be required for this.

Would love to hear any feedback.

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Sam Whalley Feb 1, 2018

That's a great idea, and in general I reckon paper should be the next product for ERS to focus on since it's so easy to recycle!

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Jessica Hunter Feb 3, 2018

Great idea Scott! The Principal at QSI also talked about using paper for worm farms.

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Sam Whalley Feb 1, 2018

Good job Jess, education has definitely been the most important thing for ERS to introduce in January as it's the only way to change behaviour!

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Jessica Hunter Feb 3, 2018

Thanks Sam! Your contribution to the project and your help and support is greatly appreciated!

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Alex Piatek Feb 1, 2018

PAPER IDEAS:
Tetra Packs are very common in Timor-Leste and Tetra Indonesia are the big players in the Timor market. Tetra Indonesia have recycling initiatives and some of their products are manufactured using the recycled material. Might be worth contacting Tetra Indonesia and seeing how much paper you would need to collect to be viable. The space used in the shipping containers to deliver the Tetra Packs, may be vacant heading back to Indonesia and could be filled with recyclables.
Also, this a small scale and seasonal idea, however, during Christmas the Dili community use paper-mache to build mangers around the city.

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Alex Piatek Feb 1, 2018

Have you been able to identify any metrics with your education initiative?

This is a brain dump, however, counting the amount of participants in the education session then returning within the month and find out how many participants have taken next actions with recycling could be a useful metric.

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Jessica Hunter Feb 3, 2018

That's a great idea and something that the February team could follow up on.

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Andrew Vild Jul 2, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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