Collecting plastic bottles and inorganic trash is something that everybody can help with. Take a big bag or sack, and go find a place where there’s a lot of trash! Be careful, and don’t go anywhere where you don’t feel comfortable.
After collecting trash, make sure that it is all clean before you store it anywhere. Rinse it with water and then leave it in the sun to dry. You need to be sure that there is no organic material left on the trash.
Store the bottles and trash somewhere safe and dry, and out of the sun. The community itself or a member of the community may have some sort of shed which would be a suitable place for storing bottles, trash and completed eco-bricks.
Correct technique for making eco-bricks
Eco-bricks should be stuffed full of trash until you can’t fit any more in the bottle. Although eco-bricks have no structural integrity in the bottle school, it’s important that they are all hard like bricks,
for the following reasons:
- • Bottles that are not fully stuffed can “give” when you lace them to the chicken wire, creating inconsistencies in the surface of the wall.
- • The less air left in an eco-brick, the better, to prevent any organic matter that is left in there from respiring.
- • The more trash that you can collect and stuff into eco-bricks, the less trash will be left around the community!
To make an eco-brick, stuff inorganic trash into a plastic bottle, one small piece of trash at a time. After every few bags, use a stick or other implement to stuff the trash down into the bottle, as far as it will go. Use all your strength! The end result should be as solid as a brick, with no open spaces anywhere within the bottle.
If you put too much trash into the bottle before stuffing it down, you will find that you won’t be able to stuff the trash down all the way: there will be some air pockets in the bottle that you can’t reach. For this reason, it’s important to keep using your stick regularly. If pieces of trash are too large (larger than a standard plastic bag or snack wrapper), you will need to cut the trash into smaller pieces before you try stuffing those larger items into bottles.
Keep stuffing trash into the eco-brick until you absolutely can’t fit any more in. It may feel like you are almost done, but it is surprising how much trash it takes to create a dense, compacted eco-brick. Continue stuffing the bottle until it is completely solid, without any open space, and completely full of trash.