Garbage collectors in Turkey have curated their own library from books thrown away by residents. The books were destined for landfills, but around 6,000 books now sit on shelves waiting to be re-read by the public.
Reusing books thrown away
The trash collectors kept finding books and eventually found a place to put them. It’s an old brick building outside of Ankara that used to house a factory. Its long shape makes it ideal for the long bookshelves that make libraries so fun to browse.
In the beginning, the trash collectors would stash the books and lend them to friends. But as more people heard about it and the number of books grew, they searched for a more sustainable option. The local municipality, Çankaya, found money in the budget to open a library with these books.
We started to discuss the idea of creating a library from these books. And when everyone supported it, this project happened,” the mayor of Çankaya, Alper Tasdelen, told CNN (cited below).
Turkey doesn’t have a public library system, so it’s up to each region to build, curate, and staff a library themselves.
A new collection and a public good
The library full of books thrown away has a full-time staff member. They’ve even converted a garbage truck into a mobile library/donation truck!
The public has started donating books to the library instead of throwing them away to rot in landfills. You’ll also find magazines and other types of reading materials in the library.
There are some other items found in the trash that have made their way to the library, such as furniture and even games. Some of the space acts as a social center for people in the town.
Talk about turning trash into treasure!
Check below for a video about these garbage collectors’ awesome efforts! — WTF fun facts