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Recycling for more climate protection

Millions of tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. On land, too, trash has become a threat to people and nature in many places. In Indonesia, around 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced every year, of which only 10% is recycled so far. The churches of the UEM Community are committed to climate protection with innovative projects.

Bank Sampah - Earning money with waste

The Christian Karo-Batak Church (GBKP) has founded a Bank Sampah (Sampah = garbage in Indonesian). Those who sort their household waste and bring it to the bank not only protect the environment but also pay into their savings account. Plastic bottles, paper waste and batteries are particularly valuable. They are weighed and the price that the waste bank obtains from the recycling company is entered in the savings book. The waste banks promote the collection and recycling of recyclable waste. At the same time, they are a source of income for the population.

A first facility is already operating at full capacity and creating new jobs.

A training session on waste separation. One participant: "Last week I started collecting plastic bottles. I will take them to the bank and so my savings account balance grows. I save this money for special expenses. "

The project group of the VEM member church meets regularly to exchange experiences


Climate protection is one of the greatest challenges of our time. As a communion of churches, we are committed to the integrity of creation. With your help.

Our member churches are involved in many countries when it comes to climate and environmental protection. They know what is needed, for example, in the DR Congo, in Indonesia or in Germany. As UEM, our task is to network and support our member churches in this. Together we carry out numerous projects on climate and environmental protection - from the international "Youth Climate Action Day" to the biogas project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The fact that we can act in such a targeted way is made possible through the international character of our community.


GBKP* congregations in Medan, Indonesia, offer seminars on reducing or recycling waste. Irma Simanjuntak, Advocacy Advisor at UEM in Asia, says:

"I see how important educational programmes and information campaigns on climate protection are in our local churches. They raise people's awareness of their own contribution to climate protection. Those who value creation will protect it."

Democratic Republic of Congo: Climate-neutral biogas - energy source of the future

The church districts of Vayana and Kitsimba are located on mountain slopes near the Virunga National Park in eastern Congo. As part of a Kivu biogas project for sustainable development, the Baptist Church in Central Africa (CBCA) has set up two pilot plants for the use of biogas in Vayana and Kitsimba. In addition to climate change adaptation and environmental protection, this project includes raising awareness among the population about raising livestock in stables and recycling animal waste through domestic biogas production.

How is biogas produced?

Biogas is produced from animal and field waste through a fermentation process in airtight tanks powered by the gut bacteria of farm animals - without any chemical additives. The gas can be used for cooking or as a source of household energy As a byproduct, valuable natural fertilizer is produced. The fermentation process kills harmful germs, so the biofertilizer can be spread on vegetable beds without hesitation.

Biogas saves time and protects health

Using biogas eliminates hours of gathering firewood and carrying heavy loads. There is no need to keep the fire going all the time. Switching from firewood to biogas saves health because no harmful smoke is inhaled. Especially women and children benefit from this.


More Information?

Projects and Programms of the UEM Communion

Photo: J. Schermuly/VEM
Terri-Lynn Smith
Project Officer and Fundraising Officer
Jl. Pdt. J. Wismar Saragih, Bane, Kec. Siantar Utara, Kota Pematangsiantar, 21142 North Sumatra, Indonesia

Please transfer your donation to:

UEM Asia: Bank BNI - account# 0128002447 - Swift code: BNINIDJAMDN

UEM Africa: CRDB BANK PLC - branch: 3319 - account# 1950299692300 - Swift code: CORUTZTZ


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