Recycling village

Public buildings made from sustainable and recycled materials

Our buildings are not only climate-positive, they can also be dismantled and are made from regional materials.
This prevents waste later on.

The largest recycling village in the world

We make environmental protection socially acceptable.

The recycling village serves as a place of education and awareness for children and adults.

Located directly at the foot of Gunung Leuser National Park, it is an excellent place to draw attention to environmental challenges. The recycling village will serve as a meeting place and training center, especially for the region’s residents.

With its classrooms, library and covered sports hall, the site functions as an educational center. Universities from all over Indonesia come here to learn more about sustainable solutions. With the help of the co-working office, we want to strengthen the local economy in the long term and provide sufficient space for sustainable ideas. The marketplace and the workshops and environmental courses on offer also make the recycling village an exciting place for tourists from Indonesia and all over the world. Here we bring the rainforest and other global focal points to life.
The innovatively constructed public buildings were planned and implemented by locals together with architects and engineers. In total, more than 150 tons of recycled plastic are used, most of which is collected from nature and processed further.

In the Culture Kitchen, food is processed that is grown locally in our sustainably designed gardens. Here, locals and tourists can show off their national specialties!

In the long term, the recycling village with all the buildings should be able to finance itself. Our aim is to create a self-sustaining system that creates long-term jobs and boosts the regional economy.

The construction of the recycling village is also intended to raise awareness of the plastic waste problem in Indonesia and around the world.

A module with
more added value.

There is currently no established and ecological solution for the contents of our Ecobricks: mixed plastic.

We therefore use the waste that would otherwise be incinerated. By compressing the plastic waste in the PET bottles, the waste is bound and can be used as a building block in its new form. Thanks to our innovative design, the Ecobrick is protected from decomposing into microplastics. This is because sun and rain have no chance of reaching the insulated plastic building block.

A layer of clay several centimeters thick protects the Ecobricks. Thanks to the bamboo-clay construction, the walls can be dismantled without reducing the stability of the building. The supporting elements, the bamboo frames, remain in place. while the Ecobricks can be removed undamaged. The wall can then be easily “refilled”. We can even mix the previously used clay again with water, cow dung and some rice husks and reuse it!

We are convinced that the technology will soon be ready to recycle the contents of the Ecobricks.

Until then, we will use the recyclable material to insulate it and install it in useful buildings.

Immerse yourself in the project

We can write and explain a lot here, but pictures say more than a thousand words. Just take a look for yourself!

Innovative and simple

The plastic waste produced locally is upcycled into a high-quality building material with the help of Ecobricks. Our innovative Ecobrick deposit system also creates a small economic incentive that encourages people to rethink their attitude towards plastic waste in the long term. By creating a primary supporting structure from the rapidly renewable raw material bamboo, the basis for our Ecobrick walls is created.

The Ecobricks, in combination with the local clay, then form the closed wall surfaces. The Ecobricks are built in a similar way to bricks and protected from decomposition by environmental influences such as UV light by an outer layer of clay. This protects rainforests and rivers from contamination by microplastics. Furthermore, in combination with exclusively natural materials, emphasis is placed on problem-free dismantling.

This means that the upcycled plastic waste can be recycled at the end of the building’s useful life without any environmental impact in accordance with the cradle-to-cradle principle.

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Our construction method combines the Ecobrick as a building block with local and natural materials.

the largest recycling village in
THE WORLD

A village that helps twice. 

As building materials are expensive in rural areas of Indonesia and plastic waste is abundant, we have developed a sustainable construction method to give plastic waste a new use, create ecological awareness and protect our ecosystem at the same time.

Up to half a million Ecobricks are currently being used in the world’s largest recycling village. Around 250 tons of plastic waste are insulated in the walls of the Ecobrick buildings so that no abrasion (microplastics) can enter the environment.

The goal of Project Wings: to leave behind a self-sustaining system run by locals. To ensure that the village generates income in the long term, a wide variety of buildings have been planned that make both economic and ecological sense.

BUILDINGS IN THE RECYCLING VILLAGE

CLASSROOM FOR ALL

GREEN EDUCATION CENTER

The Green Education Center serves as a classroom for ALL! These walls contain over 10,000 Ecobricks, which are fully insulated. The fact that this is an Ecobrick building can be guessed from two small viewing windows inside the Green Education Center. Schools and their students are now being given the opportunity to learn essential digital skills free of charge, which are considered key strategic skills for countless professional fields in today’s world. In addition to support for schools, adults should also be given access to training and further education for the acquisition of digital skills. However, these services will be subject to a charge, so that a self-supporting system is created in the long term.

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PROMOTION OF SUSTAINABLE IDEAS

COWORKING
OFFICE

At present, the majority of the local population works in the tourism sector or in industry – mostly for palm oil companies. The economic power of these companies makes it difficult for start-ups to bring their innovative products to market competitively. In addition, most local people lack the financial resources and know-how to develop their ideas in practice. The coworking office supports local and sustainable initiatives and ideas: with financial resources (e.g. start-up grants), business know-how and expertise (e.g. drawing up a business plan) and well-equipped premises. In the coworking office, you can also benefit from sharing experiences with other founders or joint projects.

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SPACE FOR PLAY, SPORTS AND FUN

SPORT
COURT

If you’ve already been to Bukit Lawang, you’ve probably noticed: There is no real sports field. Children, teenagers and adults run through large puddles of water after the ball, while the spectators find shelter under the nearest canopy. For this reason, we are building a covered sports and play area. We mainly use sustainable and regional materials such as bamboo and clay. Even the roof was made from bamboo splits!

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KNOWLEDGE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS A HEALTHY PLANET

AUDITORIUM

The “Learning Space” is intended to function as an open education center. In addition to a library, a cozy reading corner and rooms for tutoring, the facility also provides a comprehensive range of teaching materials free of charge. The education center is a contact point where all people, regardless of profession or age, can access educational materials, courses and facilities. At the same time, you will find a competent advisor on site who will introduce you to the Learning Space and provide you with support.

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A QUIET PLACE WITH SUFFICIENT PRIVACY

CLEAN SOUL SANITARY HOUSE

After a sports tournament or a river clean-up, this building is a must: The Clean Soul sanitary building. Here you will find separate toilets, which was particularly requested by the younger girls. Ben&Anna financed the construction of this building. They have been campaigning for natural and plastic-free care for many years and now want to create an impact for our planet in Sumatra too. Soaps, unpackaged shampoos and feminine hygiene products will be made available free of charge in future. Hygiene is essential for health, especially in tropical regions, so a well-equipped sanitary facility is an absolute necessity for our recycling village.

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A SMALL, QUIET PLACE

TINY ECO TOILET

The first building in the village was the Green Education Center. As the first children romped around the recycling village and took part in the English and environmental lessons, it quickly became clear what was urgently needed here: A quiet place to go! On the spur of the moment, a fantastic little Eco Toilet was built from around 1,200 Ecobricks within 1.5 weeks. The Tiny Eco Toilet with two toilets and a washing area is now located a little lower down and right next to the Green Education Center.

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WORKSHOPS AND UNPACKAGED SHOPPING 

RECYCLING
MARKETPLACE

We want to strengthen the local economy and offer people alternative plastic-free shopping options. Most locals buy small quantities of everyday products, which are usually sold in sachets (single-serving bags) from the stores. It is obvious that this increases waste consumption considerably. To ensure that locals can still buy their individual, usually smaller portions in future, we offer everything they need for everyday life on the recycling marketplace. Naturally unpackaged, so that everyone can determine their own portions. The fruit and vegetables from our own permaculture cultivation, homemade products from our recycling machine and lots of upcycled items are offered here at fair prices. The recycling marketplace is the heart of the recycling village. From the 13-meter-high platform, you will have a wonderful view of the village and can enjoy the breathtaking view of the rainforest mountains.

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THE ECOBRICK HOTSPOT

ECO GARAGES

Our eco garages are unfinished ruins right at the foot of the recycling village. As they belong to the property, we use the premises! Since 2021, you can hand in Ecobricks here every day and exchange them for money. Locals also meet here regularly to make more Ecobricks together. Since 2022, we have also been using parts of the garage to process bamboo. This is how we ensure that the bamboo we use and install is made stable and durable.

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BUILDINGS IN THE PROJECT REGION

KNOWLEDGE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS A HEALTHY PLANET

KOMPOST
HOUSE

The “Learning Space” is intended to function as an open education center. In addition to a library, a cozy reading corner and rooms for tutoring, the facility also provides a comprehensive range of teaching materials free of charge. The education center is a contact point where all people, regardless of profession or age, can access educational materials, courses and facilities. At the same time, you will find a competent advisor on site who will introduce you to the Learning Space and provide you with support.

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KNOWLEDGE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS A HEALTHY PLANET

TRASHBANK

The Trashbank is located outside the recycling village. It is the linchpin of our waste management system and is responsible for regional waste. In 2020, we started building the first Trashbank in the region.

This is where the waste is sorted and separated into its various recyclable materials. Mixed plastics (non-recyclable plastic waste) are used for the production of Ecobricks. Hard plastic is used for our recycling machine. Metal, glass and paper are sold to companies in Medan for further recycling. Why is this system so important? Although plastic waste has been produced locally for around 40 years, private households are responsible for disposing of it. As a result, waste is either incinerated, buried or otherwise disposed of in nature.

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KNOWLEDGE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS A HEALTHY PLANET

GREEN EDUCATION CAFÉ

This building has been on site since 2019. The focus here is on environmental education for young people. With the help of direct nature experiences (camping, excursions, workshops), we awaken their curiosity for the local biodiversity. In this way, they build up a personal relationship with their environment. Here, children and young people develop an intrinsic motivation to stand up for the preservation of nature and to take this into account in their everyday actions. They are also informed about sustainable practices. We develop solutions and alternatives together and implement them with the children and young people on site. At the same time, a trusted network is created among young people so that they can support each other with various projects or problems or, if necessary, turn to a contact person in the café.

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