TEST YOURSELF: Waste warriors

Thailand’s waste collectors risk injury to keep the city clean.

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Read the following story by Suwitcha Chaiyong from Bangkok Post’s Life section. Then, answer the questions that follow.

While working as a Bangkok Metropolitan Administration waste collector, Nampu Toka often gets injured by sharp sticks, fish bones, needles, broken glass and other hazardous trash.  

Nampu, who is a garbage truck driver in Klong Toey district, showed us a scar on his finger. He explained that it resulted from a cut caused by a broken tile while he was separating trash.

 "Waste collectors wear rubber gloves and cover them again with fabric gloves," Nampu explained. "These gloves help to reduce serious injuries. My shift for collecting trash from houses is 7pm to 5am, so my team races against time. Even though we try to be careful, we still get injuries every month," he said.

Garbage event

To highlight the difficult work of waste collectors, the event "Think Throw… Life" is happening in front of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and MBK until Sunday.  

The event features exhibitions and activities providing knowledge and aiming to change everyone's disposal behaviour. In the "Change Of Heart" zone, participants watch a video which helps them understand how waste collectors work.  

"We sort trash into four categories -- organic waste, general waste or non-recyclable waste, recyclable waste and hazardous waste. We never mix trash together. We separate the trash in order to reduce the amount sent to landfills," Nampu said.

In the "Throw… Life" zone, participants wear gloves and put their hands into a black trash bag to understand what it is like to touch random rubbish like a waste collector.

Sorting waste can be confusing because there are many categories. This zone helps participants understand the types of trash they pick from the bag. The Mae Fah Luang Foundation sorts trash into six piles -- recyclable trash, plastic, hazardous trash, food waste, plants and toilet trash. These six piles are sent to different organisations for proper disposal.

Garbage art

Some artworks on display use trash to create art. Wishulada created Garden Of The Humanity from aluminum cans, bamboo and used sticks without using spray paint or glue.  

Untitled by Jirayu is created from the artist's everyday life items and second-hand materials. The description states: "The artist believes that nothing is trash."  

To further reduce fabric waste, the final zone of the event, "Swop Buddy: Exchange Clothes", is an area where people can exchange their clothes.  

As a waste collector, Nampu feels honoured to be a part of the event.

"If possible, I hope that people will make the effort to sort their waste. Sorting will help waste collectors avoid serious injuries. If anyone can sort their waste, we would be very thankful," said Nampu.  

Section 1: Choose the correct answer.
1. Which part of Bangkok does Nampu work in?  …………….
2. What are his working hours?  …………….
3. Which zone of the event makes people wear gloves? …………….
4. Which zone is about clothes?  …………….
5. Which zone shows a video?   …………..
6. Which artist uses bamboo?  …………….

Section 2: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.
Each year, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration …7… 10 billion baht for waste management. If Bangkokians put …8… into sorting waste, the BMA …9… reduce this expenditure and use the leftover budget for other benefits …10… Bangkok residents.

7. __A. spend                 __B. spends            __C. spent
8. __A. effort                   __B. affect            __C. effect
9. __A. do                    __B. did                   __C. can
10. __A. in                 __B. on                  __C. for

Section 3: Find words that match the following definitions.
11. dangerous  ……………
12. a mark that is left on your skin after a wound heals   ……………
13. places where garbage is buried in the ground   ……………
14. throwing away or getting rid of something   …………

1. Klong Toey 2. 7pm to 5am 3. Throw…Life 4. Swop Buddy: Exchange Clothes 5. Change Of Heart  6. Wishulada 7. B 8. A 9. C 10. C 11. hazardous 12. scar 13. landfills 14. disposal

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