Artist Romano Roman

One fine day I stumbled upon a colorful pot near a trash bin in Jabriya. It was dumped besides a black bag near a gated home opposite the police station. I noticed it was filthy but colorful, and looked elegant and classy. It was quite attractive to be ignored. I stopped my car near the garbage bin and inspected the vase. It was indeed beautiful and undamaged, so I decided to take it. After arriving home, I immediately took the vase to the bathroom and cleaned it. A few minutes of washing and some polishing revealed the real beauty of the pot!
Here’s the colorful plant pot!

Recycled planter

Welcome to the world of recycling, where outdated household items are reused instead of throwing them away. Kuwait is undoubtedly the best place for recycling products, as it has a place for them – the famous Friday Market in Rai. This market is frequented by customers from all walks of life. You can see various types of used products – from carpets to televisions to washing machines, fridges and gas ranges to shoes and old clothing. If I hadn’t taken the pot in Jabriya, it would’ve surely ended up at the Friday Market.

In Kuwait, you can notice several trucks roaming around the neighborhood picking up household items that are kept to be recycled or thrown in dumpsters by their owners. Just a few weeks ago, I took a beautiful sofa and reused it. These discarded items are usually taken by cleaners and sold at the Friday Market after some washing, polishing and repairs. At the Friday Market, you can literally get whatever you want – you only need to spend a bit of your precious time surfing the sea of old items at the market. The Friday Market is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Kuwait Times spoke to some collectors who frequent the market or take stuff from the garbage to use or sell. “If you visit our house, you will see lots of household items I collected from the trash. I also visit the Friday Market occasionally to buy good stuff. I collect things that I like and send them to the Philippines. I particularly search for antique products. Sometimes I take something from the trash and turn it into a beautiful work of art,” said Romano Roman, a Filipino artist.
“Honestly, I love collecting old items wherever I go. When I get something, in my mind I have already decided exactly how it will look like when I turn it into a piece of art. I sell some of them, but many are just given to my friends,” he said.

Here’s some of his stuff collected and turned into pieces of art.

A Sri Lankan man who lives in Omariya admitted to buying most appliances at his home from the Friday Market. “Most of the heavy furniture in my house is from the garbage bin nearby. I have a car, so I can easily pick up discarded products and recycle them. From the bed to clothing, cabinets, sofas and the refrigerator and washing machine, I took them all either from the Friday Market or from the nearby trash. My principle in life is if it can still be used, don’t throw it away. If it needs a bit of repair, I can do it. I usually send to my neighbors in Sri Lanka some of the things I have bought from the Friday Market,” he told Kuwait Times.

There are some active recycling groups in Kuwait that will collect your old household items and take them to their recycling area. They normally exchange them with trash bags or containers that allow you to separate paper, plastic and metal. Some recycling groups are even willing to buy used items and then resell them.

By Ben Garcia