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Waste Sorting and Waste Processing Problems in Indonesia (Part 1)

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Every February 21st, we commemorate The National Waste Care Day (HPSN). The history of HPSN commemoration began when the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) recalled the event in Leuwigajah, Cimahi, West Java on February 21, 2005. At that time, in Leuwigajah there was a naïve event in which high rainfall and methane gas explosions in the garbage piles caused 157 people killed and the disappearance of Kampung Cilimus and Pojok due to an avalanche of garbage as high as 60 meters from the Leuwigajah Landfill. A year later the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) commemorated February 21 as the National Waste Care Day.

But the journey of indonesian people to sort and process waste properly is still quite long. Because based on data from the Ministry of Environment & Forestry (KLHK) in February 2019, Indonesia produces 64 million tons of waste each year. The waste are piled up in landfills; unmanaged and not well sorted.

“For environmental sustainability, we must lower the index of public indifference to the problem of waste. Should increase the percentage of people sorting waste up to 50%,” said Director of Waste Management of the Ministry of Environment &Forestry, Novrizal Tahar, at waste4Change Appreciation Day 2020 “Collaboration &Communication for Bigger Impact on Waste Issues in Indonesia” which was broadcast live through YouTube.

Novrizal said the percentage of Indonesians sorting waste is still at 11% by 2020. But in 2019 there has been a 49.18% increase for good and correct waste management. The target is towards good and correct waste management up to 100% by 2025. 100% means a 30% reduction in waste and 70% handling.

According to Novrizal, the government already has new Ministerial Regulations and Government Regulations; from upstream to downstream regarding waste handling. Procedures and policies have also been prepared, and the government has improved the waste management system in the region. The financing comes from the direct state budget, the KLHK state budget and the PUPR state budget. “TPA management increased in 514 districts / cities throughout Indonesia through the Adipura program; and we still need community support for waste management and sorting,” novrizal said. Efforts from the government must synergize with the participation of citizens, because there are 3 pillars of waste management, namely: ecoliving, circular economy, technology. Talk circular economy, means talk socialpreneurship as the backbone. Novrizal recommends that scavengers and garbage collectors be embraced, as most of the non-organic waste (plastic) is managed and becomes their daily business land.


Waste Management Infrastructure

In accordance with the contents of Presidential Regulation Number 97 of 2017, the Ministry of Public Works &Amp; Public Housing (PUPR) is mandated to provide infrastructure in the field of waste. The Ministry of PUPR works in the handling area; provide infrastructure in almost all cities / districts in Indonesia, for the construction of final waste processing sites. But many local governments still practice open dumping or waste just dumped into landfill without being followed up with the processing process.

“We are also thinking about alternatives to handling this waste in the future. Because there is no way all the waste will be taken to landfill. Of course, there needs to be other efforts related to reduction,” said Director of Sanitation of the Ministry of Pupr RI, Prasetyo. Since the 2025 target is a 30% reduction, Prasetyo expects that waste that reaches landfill can be reduced after going through the sorting processes at the source. In addition to reducing waste, it can also extend the life of landfill; because the provision of land for new landfills is not easy. Not to mention the problem of residents who protest if near the area where they live will be built landfill.

Although there is already a rule of distance of 12 km between landfill and residential areas, the smell of tons of garbage that accumulates can still be smelled.

One solution is Sanitary Landfill, which is a system of management or destruction of waste by disposing of and piling garbage in a sunken location, compacting it, and then stockpiling it with soil. Prasetyo said, there is actually one more alternative: Refuse Direct Fuel (RDF), where waste is processed into a kind of young coal that can be used for cement refineries as well as for power plants. Prasetyo said the Ministry of PUPR with KLHK already has a pilot project for the procurement of RDF facilities in Cilacap Regency, so it is no longer dependent on the Sanitary Landfill system. “By being coordinated by the Coordinating Minister for Maritime & Investment, we have been asked to replicate what is implemented in Cilacap, in several cities in Indonesia that already have readiness to practice RDF,” said Prasetyo.

In addition, there are 12 cities in Indonesia that will be developed for Waste Power Plants. The Ministry of PUPR is ready to invest in reducing the burden of local government in financing its waste management.

Ideally, the starting point of waste reduction is in the household. But the reality is, it’s a bit difficult to do even if it’s not impossible to do. Waste management is not enough if it only rests on the availability of infrastructure; mindset and behavior of the community towards the management and sorting of waste is also decisive. Therefore, the Ministry of PUPR facilitates the handling of waste at the district / city community level, in order to encourage the surrounding community to process waste at the source. “We provide waste treatment plant with 3R system (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Although we do not have the capacity to be able to carry out these activities, there are several parties that can be invited to work together for waste reduction efforts at the source,” said Prasetyo. The 3R system was originally tried in Malang, Jombang, and Jambi; but with the help of Waste4Change, a waste management company that aims to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill, 3R facilities can be optimized in several districts / cities in the 3 provinces.

The Ministry of PUPR itself invited Waste4Change to help solve the waste problem in the office of the Ministry of PUPR. “So, even with the limitations that exist, although we do not have much space in our office, but there are efforts to reduce and sort waste in the office that will be processed in the Waste4Change facility in accordance with its provisions,” said Prasetyo.


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