Rubbish Removal News:
Turkish Bin Men Build a Library and Inspire us All
Council bin men and collectors at private rubbish removal companies like Clearabee really are the unsung heroes of the modern world. Where would we be without them…
Up to our eyeballs in stinky garbage and rubbish removal? Buried alive in our own filthy trash and recycling bins? We really should stop and sing their praises more often, especially when they go way beyond the call of duty like several bin men from Ankara Turkey did recently. This is an amazing true story and I hope by telling it to you, it will inspire many more similar deeds!
Turkish bin men build a library and inspire us all…
A group of Turkish bin men saw that books in good shape were headed for the landfill. They leapt into action and started putting these books aside for their own families to read and to cherish. Soon, they had accumulated more than SIX THOUSAND books. Remember, these were books saved from the rubbish removal that would have otherwise been rotting away in a landfill producing greenhouse gases and doing no one on Earth any good had they not been rescued.
The bin men decided since they had so many books, they would share them with the entire community instead of just allowing their own families to access them. To do this, they organized the rescued books and put them in one of their empty brick sanitation buildings, and voila, a community library was born!
The new library officially opened in September of 2017 and it’s been an overwhelming success. Everyone from the public is invited to come and share these books rescued from rubbish removal. The bin men also put in comfortable chairs for a reading room and even added a chess board with all the pieces so that readers could take a respite from reading and exercise their minds in a different way. As word spread through the community about this uniquely sourced library, another truly amazing thing started to happen!
Instead of people binning their books in their rubbish, a “death sentence” for a book and pure intellectual thievery, they started donating their unwanted books directly to this public library instead of binning them. The books now range from comic books for kids to non-fiction how-to books. Great literature in multiple languages can also be found among these rescued books as well as a special section on science and research.
According to CNN, the book collection has grown so large, the city of Ankara has hired a full-time employee to manage the collection. The books are now being shared far beyond the walls of the old brick building.
Some go to prisons. Others go to schools, including schools in some of the most impoverished villages in Turkey. These books, once destined for the landfill, rescued from waste removal companies by crafty bin men, are now the intellectual lifeblood for the youngest most deserving minds in Turkey. Surely, this MUST inspire similar projects in other areas, including England. Carelessly discarding books in modern-day landfills is as tragic as burning down the great Great Library Alexandria in the Ancient World.
Who knows which book will plant the seed of information in a young girl’s mind that will germinate into the next world-changing revolution decades later. A young boy reading one of these rescued books may go on to lead a nation out of war into a time of peace and prosperity. The library has become a popular hub in the city. Bicyclists stop in after a long ride to rest, read a book, and sip some hot tea.
Children come in after school for reading and checking out books to take home. This is a new experience for many children who use this library full of books rescued from rubbish removal. They are allowed to check out books for two weeks and they can renew the books if needed. Now, the library is planning a bookmobile to get the books out into the community for people who can’t come to the library.
According to the Smithsonian, many tonnes of books are sentenced to death in the landfills each year. Sometimes they are carelessly tossed into a bin at homes and businesses. Other times they are callously shredded, even by libraries, before they go to the tip. It seems nothing short of a tragedy to all humankind to allow the knowledge, inspiration, and culture in these books to be so frivolously buried in waste removal. Think of the foresight these Turkish bin men had. Libraries are far less common in Turkey than in Europe and other western nations like the United States.
The Smithsonian reports that there is only one library for every seventy thousand people in Turkey. This means that many Turkish people don’t have access to libraries and they are simply starving for books to read. It seems many much-needed libraries could be built by rescuing books from garbage and rubbish removal and shipping them off to places where they are needed most and would be appreciated the most!
How about shipping these rescued books to small African villages with one room school houses where the village cannot even afford to build the children desks? How about an old-fashioned book drive to retrieve books BEFORE they hit the rubbish removal bins where they may get soiled? These books could be taken to a central location where they could be sorted by volunteers and shipped to where they are most needed. Perhaps a partnership could be established with the United Nations Development Programme to help distribute the books to remote places where they truly need them.
Since many citizens in African nations are beginning to have some access to the internet through mobile phones, perhaps a website could be formed, or a Facebook page set up, to receive calls for books needed and where to send them. The requests could detail what types of books they most need. Just think about this. A teacher in a small village in Nigeria could put out a request and books could be delivered to her students free of charge!
In the UK, Clearbabee, a private garbage and rubbish removal company, has the right idea. Upcycle everything you can! – What can’t be upcycled, reuse everything you can. What can’t be reused, recycle everything you can. Keep as much out of landfills as humanly possible. Build a library, build a treehouse, build a community garden, and rebuild our human spirit. We are better than landfills. Don’t throw our human knowledge in the rubbish!
Thank you, Turkish bin men for the inspiration we needed to get back on track!
What a great story! Here in Central Italy they just converted a disused telephone booth to a free library. People take a book and leave a book. I thought that was cool.
What a fantastic story. And just the sort of happy news that I needed to read.
Absolutely agree, isn’t that just amazing?!