“Dow” promotes “Koh Klang Community” in Klong Toey District as a model in comprehensive waste management with an emphasis on optimum utilization of resources according to the circular economy principle. A waste sorting system has been set up, areas have been improved, and channels for waste sale have been sought. The project aims to generate income and welfare for the community and will also serve as a learning center for other areas to build upon.
Today (27 November), Dow Thailand Group (Dow) held an opening ceremony of a model learning center for comprehensive waste management in Koh Klang Community in Klong Toey District, Bangkok. The community, located on a small island in the Phra Khanong Canal, is the only “island community” in Bangkok and is ready to welcome community members and interested parties who would like to learn more about waste management and further make use of the knowledge to help prevent waste from ending up in the environment.
Koh Klang Community in Klong Toey District goes back more than 100 years ago. It has a population of 270 living in 58 households. The small island, which is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, has an area of 3 rai in the middle ofthe Phra Khanong Canal. It is currently part of a pilot project for a self-managed community, where the residents lead a self-sufficient life, making their own household items to lower expenses, and are committed to conserving the environment. The comprehensive waste management project was, therefore, launched in the community to generate extra income and increase benefits for the community from selling waste. It is also expected to serve as a learning center where other communities can learn from their experience.
“Dow Thailand Group is committed to creating sustainability in combatting global warming, reducing plastic waste, and encouraging recycling to ensure optimum utilization of resources as per the circular economy framework. The company has joined forces with other organizations and communities with a similar outlook to build this pilot project. We found that Koh Klang is our headquarters’ neighboring community with the residents who want to improve their homes and neighborhood. They also have a strong community leader who places emphasis on waste management at the source and they are also prepared to pass on the knowledge to other communities. This has led to the project’s collaboration and success that we see today,” said Mr. SupojKatetohprakarn, Business Director of Dow Thailand Group.
The project is a collaboration between Dow, Klong Toey District Office, and Thailand Institute of Packaging and Recycling Management for Sustainable Environment (TIPMSE), an expert in packaging management as the project’s consultant. The community’s waste management is divided into four groups according to the types of waste found in the community, comprising 1. Organic waste management 2. Recycle material management 3. General waste management 4. Hazardous waste management. The different types of waste will either be made into sellable items or delivered to the Klong Toey District Office for proper disposal. Land improvement for the project has been carried out since January 2020.
“Dow has worked with TIPMSE to provide knowledge about comprehensive waste management to the community including organizing workshops on types of plastic, proper plastic waste sorting, and the recycling process as well as setting up a better waste sorting system, improving areas for proper waste sorting, and coordinating with organizations that could purchase the waste and make use of it. Dow is currently in talks to Klong Toey District Office to set up a system for a pick-up of clean stretchy plastic waste that has been sorted for further recycling,” added Mr. Supoj.
Dow has also worked with the community in setting up an accounting system that will ensure thorough distribution of income within the community. The income will be divided into two categories, which are income from waste sales and income from study visits by interested organizations and communities. Innovation in a form of an application called O.K. Recycle will also be used to facilitate the community’s buying prices updates and waste selling and buying data collection.
Mr. SinchaiTiansiri, Director of TIPMSE said “TIPMSE, which is an organization that has been promoting packaging for over 15 years, has seen the potential of Koh Klang Community in becoming an interesting learning center. Not only is it located on an island, but it is also an urban community, where promoting waste management is quite difficult with the limited space and urban people’s relaxed attitudes toward waste sorting. Therefore, anyone who would like to learn from a community with so many limitations but has concretely succeeded in carrying out the project can come to Koh Klang, where Dow and TIPMSE have joined forces with the local authorities in developing the area into another interesting learning center.”
Mr. PrateungwitJaidee, Deputy Director of Klong Toey District Office, said “Waste management has always been conducted in Koh Klang community including waste sorting and recycling though it might not be as comprehensive or systematic. Getting support from Dow Thailand Group is wonderful and helps build upon what the community has always been doing. The Kong Toey District Office is more than happy to support the community and the learning center’s future activities that will benefit other communities and organizations who can come for study visits. The knowledge gained from the visits will be useful in reducing waste at the source and building a zero-waste community.
According to the survey, the types of waste in Koh Klang Community comprises 31 percent organic waste, 41 percent recyclable materials, 27 percent general waste, and 1 percent hazardous waste. With all reusable and recyclable waste sorted out, the amount of waste going to the landfill could be reduced by over four tons from 18 tons in the first phase of the project or more than 20 percent. The organic waste can be used to make biogas, compost, and fermented bio-extracts. The recyclablewaste can be sold for added income. For the general waste, the 3 Rs concept will be applied through encouraging reducing and reusing as well as making crafts or other useful items.
Out of all the community’s wastes, 18 percent is plastic waste, which can be divided into 26 percent non-sellable plastic waste and up to 74 percent sellable recyclable plastic waste. The sellable waste can be a source of income and other welfare programs for the community such as a cremation fund or improvement of the community’s common areas.
For a study visit at Koh Klang Community’s Comprehensive Waste Management Learning Center, please contact KhunJurairat (Eiu) at 089-4269723