I was part of a group sponsored by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), the Japanese version of the American Peace Corps. Our group's aim was to bring awareness, know how, and technology to the areas we visited. Since I was pretty much tagging along, my contribution was asking lots of naive questions and playing photo/video boy. I hope what I write is not filled with too many errors.
As I wrote before, homes are close together, and a lot of cooperation is needed in each community. Several grassroots programs are in place, along with what local governments are doing.
Some of the things many of us take for granted, like taking out the trash (recyclable or otherwise) and having it picked up, do not happen everywhere in the world. This community gathers cardboard, cans, bottles, and some other recyclable trash and sells it. Each community member who saves their trash and brings it to this central area becomes a member in a trash bank. Members get a handwritten bank book with a record of what they have brought. It's a wonderful system put together in many communities in Indonesia.
Other things you may take for granted may be a bit more on the delicate side, but they are necessary. Some homes in some communities do not have toilets. Those homes share a communal toilet. In past years, the output from the toilets has either seeped or directly entered the environment. What you are looking at above is an eco toilet. This toilet works biochemically to both recycle waste and use the methane gas generated. The one above has been in use for some time now. I can say from experience that there is no smell or problem with using it.
Four or five more eco toilets are being planned. The shot above is for the next one.
Thank goodness we have moved beyond this kind of toilet. Besides the damage to the environment, the sheer danger of balancing over a river and doing your business is just frightening.
Next time you use you toilet at home, think about how lucky you are. I sure do.