University finding practical ways to recycle waste

Youth & Careers

CONSUMER culture creates large amounts of waste in the form of plastics, glass, metals and other materials and equipment but recycling can help manage the trash going into landfills, dumps and incinerators.
Despite campaigns in Papua New Guinea on plastic waste disposal and pollution, waste management continues to be a challenge for urban and provincial authorities.
The PNG University of Technology’s civil engineering department initiated a project, comprising students in civil, mechanical, electrical and mining engineering courses, to find practical ways to recycle waste.
Department head Dr Mirzi Betasolo said more than 50 projects aimed at converting solid waste materials into useful products were devised and assigned to first-year students.
Among the items designed and built were moveable trash bins, chairs, cabinets and wardrobes built using empty diesel drums, sewerage bio-gas digester and management systems, floaters, boats, shower blocks and beds built from empty containers and tins.
Shopping baskets were created from plastic bags and empty bottles were turned into housings for lamps.
Betasolo said the groups would be assessed and awarded based on creativity, materials used, design and skills used in turning a concept into a product.
She said some of the products could have commercial uses and would be tested and further developed.
Betasolo said pollution from waste plastics and other material was a problem in Lae and organising such school programmes could hopefully start the conversation about changing mind-sets.