Useful Resources in the Garbage

On 20-21 February 2016, ProCEEd in cooperation with the Mobile Conservation Unit (MCU) of the National University of Laos and officials of the Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment (PONRE) seized the opportunity of the Sikhottabong Festival in

Thakhek, Khammouane Province to stage non-formal environmental education activities on solid waste management. The collection, management and proper disposal of solid waste as well as the use of recyclable materials that enter the waste stream are important issues that need awareness raising in Laos.


The two-day program in the context of the annual Sikhottabong Festival provided an attractive platform for PONRE and ProCEEd to present their work to festival visitors and youth groups. Using different information materials, a quiz contest and a picture puzzle,

MCU volunteers and staff of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) raised visitors' awareness on garbage prevention and proper waste disposal. Light boxes presented ideas to reduce, recycle and reuse material such as paper, plastic, bottles and scrap metal by means of separating household waste into a wet and a dry fraction. Material from the dry fraction can be recycled and reused. Organic matter from the wet fraction can be composted or properly disposed.


The main message “Reduce – Recycle – Reuse” was communicated to point out the importance of preventing and managing the growing quantity of waste at the festival as well as in daily life. The activities followed an infotainment approach as factual information was combined with entertaining games and plays. This ensured the curiosity and engagement of festival visitors. The team toured the festival grounds to collect garbage, which drew a lot of attention. Team members involved festival on-lookers in discussions on different types of waste and the importance of recycling. At the ProCEEd booth, the team invited children to participate in a drawing contest about environmental conservation and involved them in a question-and-answers session. The children also used a cube puzzle with environmental messages which has been newly developed by ProCEEd.


Adults, too, played several games facilitated by ProCEEd team members. For example, they estimated the weight of three garbage bins with contained the equivalent of garbage produced by a Vientiane citizen in one day, one week and one month. The ‘step-in-the-garbage-game’ illustrated positive and negative behavior regarding consumption and waste disposal. The booth itself was constructed like a shadow theater. A 10-meter mural made of light boxes told the story of two communities, one littering waste all over the place and the other one using good practices of waste management. Using the light boxes was an innovation that helped the team compete with the loudspeakers and music of other booths around the festival.


ProCEEd has put up similar booths at the That Luang and Boat Racing Festivals in Vientiane in 2015. In addition, MCU and ProCEEd volunteers have been engaged in bi-annual environmental tours on waste management in Bolikhamxay Province. The team uses the project's bus and truck as an eye catcher for non-formal education activities at schools.




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