In Dala township, the suburb where the streets are littered with mountains of rotting garbage, a unique house is the office of a start-up is transforming the perspective about waste management and its use.
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The design of the house is intended as a statement about waste, said 68-year-old Wendy Neampui, the managing director of the business, which she founded in 2014 with the help of Italian non-profit organisation Cesvi.
“I wanted to transform trash from an ugly landfill site into beautiful items,” she said, as she stitched together plastic sheets to be ironed into a colourful patchwork bottle holder, a technique she learned from the internet.
“With this technique, I can help save the environment and earn a living,” she said. “That is my ambition.”
The Southeast Asian city’s government says more than 2,500 tonnes of trash are thrown out every day by the 5 million or so people living and working there.
Much of it ends up dumped on roads and in waterways, as city services struggle to keep pace with rapid urbanization.
Many people burn their trash in the street, contributing to air pollution, the city's air quality is among the worst in the world.
In Dala township, the suburb where ChuChu is located, the streets are littered with mountains of rotting garbage.
It’s a struggle to persuade people to buy products made from scavenged items, Wendy Neampui said, so most of the items they make end up in souvenir shops targeting tourists.
The aim is that people buy not because the products are a curiosity but for their own value, said Friedor Jeske, a German waste management specialist who is also a managing director at ChuChu