Even here I used to be appalled by burning garbage, but after having it helplessly smoldering outside my back window for two days at a time I've really come to appreciate the efficient and quick conclusion to the burning of my garbage. Just put it out of its misery already!
I've been working with Anabel, our Health Post Assistant, and Omayra, a 16-year-old who attended a Peace Corps run youth leadership camp in June, on a trash collection and burning project in our community.
It's so wet here that it's straight up hard to burn a bag of garbage or light your cooking fire for the majority of the year. I used to think that paper was a good fire starter, but it here just doesn't light. Plastic bags on the other hand work REAL well!
We built what we're calling an incinerator (a burn barrel/cooking stove combo - for the design aspect, not the functionality) out of a metal drum, 3/8" rebar, and some concrete blocks.
First we cut 16 pieces of rebar to make a grid which we tied together with a thinner wire. Notice my mad left handed cutting skills - balancing out the workout!
Meeting OSHA safety standards.
Omayra with the finished product!
We gave short charlas, or informational talks, in the school to the students as well as the parents. I don't want to be over confident, but I think we really won the hearts of the parents. Their eyes lit up with the reflecting flames of burning garbage!
Omayra is planning to paint trash cans and to work with the stores in town to get them to have one available. She was super nervous to present, but she brought the house down. I'm so proud of her! Woot woot!