One of the biggest obstacles when first starting our recycle program was what to do with all the recyclables once we collected them? Luckily, a friend of mine knew of a place in Belopa, only a 15 minute drive from Bajo where recyclable materials can be dropped off. So we decided to take a short field trip there, along with one of our volunteers, to introduce ourselves and to learn more about what actually happens there, and how we may partner up with them.
We met with the women who work at this recycling center in Belopa. The women sort through recyclable materials dropped off at their home daily, which as we saw is no simple task! Once the recyclables are properly sorted, they are shipped to Makassar for recycling. We spoke with the women about the program we would like to get started in Bajo and they were very happy to hear about it!
What we also learned while visiting the recycle center was that we can get paid for bringing in recyclable materials! On average, depending on the material, we can get about 2,000 Rp for every kilo we bring in. So not only are we able to be environmentally responsible by recycling, and not only were we able to find a local outlet to bring our recyclables to, but now we are even able to earn money from our recycling that we can use to reinvest in our school!
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