Facilitating Behavioural Change in Waste Management, Muncar
Nur Anik, our Community Development Officer in Muncar, Banyuwangi Regency describes how Project STOP works in a way that takes every part of waste management into account – from the scientific to the psychological. This interview also featured on the Atlas of the Future.
Tell us about your journey at Project STOP
I started my own journey at Project STOP in 2018. At first, I worked in a local NGO in Ujung Pangkah, East Java that focused on ecotourism in mangrove conservancy area. During my work there, I found out that waste management system become a problem in the coastal area, where the tourism site was covered with waste and there are no proper disposal area. I started to realized that the mangrove ecosystem becomes garbage dump and the tides bring plastic waste to the sea. I began to think that actions and systems change are urgently needed to overcome the problem.
Why did you want to make a difference in waste management related issue?
I felt called to do something for the community and for the cleaner environment. On the first day I joined the project, I had zero knowledge on how to do a proper waste management. But with the experiences that I had related to behavioural change campaign, I can provide my knowledge to assist the community and the local government in facilitating the first project off the ground.
Anik describes how Project STOP works in a way that takes every part of waste management into account – from the scientific to the psychological. “I’m really passionate about the detailed way we approach waste management – not only focusing on the technical aspect of waste management, but also on raising awareness in the community. It’s holistic, looking at the whole issue from bottom to top.”
What makes you passionate about Project STOP and the problem you’re solving?
The Project has its detailed oriented work culture, which not only focuses on the technical aspects of waste management, but also the holistic approaches in solving waste-related issues, from the bottom to top. I found out that the project approaches provide solutions to involve the community in waste management and raising their awareness on proper waste services.
When I first joined the project, I realized that waste collection always happens in big cities, while the services are rarely touch the rural areas. As part of our behavioural change campaign, I use a Madurese phrase–it’s one of the ethnicity in East Java, “bedhe pakon, bedhe pakan”, which means if you ask someone to do something for you, you must pay for their work, or could be translated as, if you ask someone to pick your waste, you must pay for their service.
How do you think behavioural change approach is innovative?
It is different because in behavioral change campaign, our project is focusing on three major goals:
- To stop the community from littering the environment
- Provide waste collection services where the community pays
- Encourage the community to do the waste sorting at home
I feel challenged to do the work because it encourages me to do practical approach, understand the technical aspects while at the same time contributes to influencing the community and village leaders. The whole design of the project also considers the approach to the community, which makes me see the project as innovative on the ground.
What gives you most joy about what you do in Project STOP?
Seeing significant change in the community and giving them hope that the waste problem is possible to overcome, starting at home. I feel joyful when I found out that the kids can play around at the clean beach, the community have trust with me and appreciate our approaches by joining the waste collection service and willing to pay for the service, also when the local government supports commit to support the waste management initiatives.
How can people get involved in behavioural campaign effort?
People can get involved by joining the waste collection services, contribute as local cadres to campaign and socialise the importance of proper waste management at source, and join the initiative on the ground, including the community meeting.
Project STOP will regularly feature stories from our partners, team members and workers on the ground to share our experiences in managing waste across Indonesia.