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Rubbish resources

Schoolchildren in the San Martin area of northern Peru have an unusual role in their community collecting and reusing waste.

Several years ago, the area did not have a system for collecting household waste and people just dumped their rubbish in rivers, causing pollution. The local authority decided to enlist the help of schools to tackle the problem and asked children to bring their rubbish from home to school.

Now the children regularly bring in their rubbish and sort it into different materials for recycling. They also make compost heaps from the organic waste and use the compost to grow fruit and vegetables for school meals and to sell in the local community. At the same time, they keep an eye out for rubbish that they can reuse and turn into something useful. As a result, their classrooms are full of ingenious handmade resources a globe made from a melon and a coathanger, brooms made from palm leaves, toys made from scrap plastic and cardboard, masks made from card, and musical instruments made from tins, wood and seeds.

Not only has the community become a cleaner, better place to live, but the schools have more resources.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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