Local Champion from Talise in Managing Plastic Waste

Made Ros is one of the many waste pickers (or called fighters) in Talise village. She is a survivor of the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi in 2018. Post-disaster conditions have forced her to move from Talise Beach to a shelter. However, it did not stop her from working as a waste picker. She usually walks 1.8 km and spends about an hour from her place to Undata Hospital to pick up the waste.

She was born with a physical disability. Since 2010, she and her husband have been walking while pushing a small cart to collect valuable waste. Unfortunately, her husband has passed away and she has to survive alone to make a living. She diligently works every day by walking while looking for waste. But, she never feels tired even though her hands are full of bags filled with plastics.

At this moment, she joins Womenpreneurs4Plastic (WP4P) program by YAKKUM Emergency Unit. This is YEU’s humanitarian program in Palu City and Sigi District which aims to increase income opportunities for women who manage plastic waste, as well as to reduce plastic waste in the community.

She is a pioneer of waste pickers in the shelter. She knew this program from her waste picker fellow. She became one of the members of the Women Plastic Entrepreneur Group (WPEG) and is active in managing waste. She enthusiastically joined this program because she believes that there is hope for those who work as waste pickers to improve their livelihood. From her job, she can fulfill her household needs as well as the education of her six children. She has inspired her neighbors to learn about the economic value of waste and made them interested in being a member of WPEG.

Made Ros usually collects 10-15 kg of waste per day. "I join the WP4P program of YEU because I want to know about the progress of the plastic processing business. It is better to join in a group so that we have regular activities with other waste pickers and get attention from stakeholders. Moreover, with the existence of a plastic bank in Talise, I feel there is a better place that can help our job as waste pickers," said Made Ros.

By joining the plastic management group, she hopes that the government of Palu City can provide support for this program and it also serves as a platform for waste management in shelters - so the group activity may develop well. In addition, Elfrida, a Community Organizer in Talise confirmed that Made Ros has already collected 13 kg of plastics as her savings in Talise Plastic Bank. This proves Made Ros' commitment as an active member of WPEG and she consistently made a positive impact in her community. (Nila/YEU)