Air quality in Bali – which is compounded by trash burning – is both concerning and complex. Traditional practices and behaviors in villages and farm fields all play into this, along with the fact that for the most part local governments do not provide reliable or effective waste management solutions for local communities. While understanding the background is important, many already understand the history and complexities especially ensuring respectful following of communication protocols with our local community; and we all agree on the need to concentrate on what can be done in the areas surrounding our school in Sibang.
Here are a few examples of what we are and have been doing:
Renovated the School’s kitchen to remove the traditional wood-fired stoves
Paved the dirt roads along the entrances and exits to the School in order to reduce dust and other particulates
Supporting ongoing trash management programs with ten partner schools in and around Sibang, through the ‘KemBali ke Sekolah‘ program
Supporting Kul Kul Connection’s (KKC) ‘Trash for Class’ and other educational and awareness-raising programs
Installing garbage bins in local warungs for sorting and recycling
Installing a public recycling drop-off station (Kembali) outside of the secure campus for community use
Working with the local desa (village) to install a donated river boom in the local subak to collect waste from water ways
Working with Urban Biologist Bali to create a compost area for organic farm and house waste
Engaging in conversations with local officials, village chiefs and banjars in an effort to provide information/education and support coordinated action
In addition, more recently we have:
Initiated a School-funded trash collection and separation service (voluntary on the community’s part) in the areas immediately surrounding the campus as an emergency waste mitigation measure – and we are also in the process of purchasing a bio-diesel fueled pickup truck which will be available to support these efforts on an ongoing basis
Deployed members of our Campus Security team to work with residents in an attempt to quickly extinguish trash fires as and when they appear around the school
Reached out to Eco Bali to explore whether an expanded partnership with them in Sibang and the surrounding banjars (using the Project Dharma model) could make a step-change in terms of progress
Reached out to Pak Nyoman, the owner of the local trash and incinerator facility to the north of campus and as of today we can confirm that a team of Green School community members have entered into cooperation agreements with Andrew Sinclair, Managing Director of Geo Trash Management, and Pak Nyoman, to bring new plastic to diesel pyrolysis technology to Bali helping us to clean the air and clean our community
Organized a meeting for the second week of December to include 450 KKC students and their families to engage them in conversations about waste management and trash burning – we are inviting other village leaders and the King of Sibang to this meeting as well
We have formed a special working group within the School to coordinate the efforts of our managers with responsibility for our solutions-based approach (Campus Operations, Campus Security, Sustainability, Legal, Government & Community Relations, Kembali and KKC) and are taking advice from parent volunteers. We are also recruiting an additional staff member to project manage and track the overall day-to-day efforts of this group and have repaired and reinstalled an online air quality monitor on the campus.
We commit to keeping you apprised as we move forward – and if you have questions, suggestions, or want to get involved, please reach out to a member of our iHub/Kembali team. We also hope that rain is finally on the way after this unusually long, severe and dusty dry season.