Addressing the Waste Issue through Community Waste Bank
Asia Pulp and Paper Sinar Mas
Waste is generally viewed as dirty with no value, this limited thinking is why waste management in Indonesia lags behind other countries. Waste management generally still follows the concept of collect, transport, throw away – which causes most of the waste to end up in landfill. This piling of waste with no proper management requires additional space for landfills, which results in the need for expensive equipment to protect the surrounding environment from its impact. In partnership with the Gampingan Bersinar Waste Bank Group, the local Environmental office of Malang regency, and support from the Waste Entrepreneur Network, PT Ekamas Fortuna, of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas, initiated a waste bank program in the Malang region.
Initially located on a privately-owned land, the program has been transferred to community owned land and supported by the entire village. The program is designed to address education and socialization issues related to waste collection and management for the entire community. The group hired waste collectors to gather waste from households, schools, health centers and businesses. Upon collection, the amount of recyclable waste is recorded and later exchanged for money. The Gampingan Bersinar group then sells the waste to recycling facilities as a source of income. The collected profits are being used for other community needs and to finance the operations of the waste bank. PT Ekamas Fortuna supports the activities of the group through capacity building, new equipment, training as well as expanding the overall group’s network.
As of 2019, 250 households and 15 organizations (religious worship facilities, schools, etc) have joined the waste bank program. The immediate result is the clean and healthy local environment. The waste bank is now managed by the village government as a village-owned enterprise, called BUMDES Gampingan. Based on this initiative and progress on the ground, in November 2019 Gampingan Village was awarded Main Category in the Village Climate Program by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
• Strong commitment from stakeholders is crucial to ensure the sustainability of the program. This helps to ensure that the program will have significant and positive impacts to the community, addressing local waste management issue. • Continuous community engagement is important to gain momentum, support and participation, particularly in the early stages of the program. Networking is crucial to further open collaboration opportunities and improve the programs implementation and reach.
Community-based waste management programs have a tremendous potential to be replicated in other areas. The village-owned enterprise model can be a suitable framework to ensure the sustainability and development of these programs. Ongoing engagement with key opinion leaders and activists in waste management issue are needed to secure and expand the support from the community. This program is designed to support the Government of Indonesia’s commitment to reduce plastic waste in the ocean by 70%, solid waste by 30% and ensuring the management of up to 70% of solid waste by 2025.
Even with the pandemic Covid 19 pandemic, the operational activities of the waste bank continued as usual. The community waste bank group continues to campaign the importance of good waste management to the surrounding community. The program is aimed to create the cleaner environment with no piled garbage and bad odors. Aside protecting the environment, the community waste bank program has benefit in economically, so it could improve the welfare of the group. The collected profits are being used to finance the operations of the waste bank and shared to its member.
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The beneficiaries of this program are the community around the Gampingan village, which are around 300 families. KSM collaborates with various stakeholders such as the Forestry and Environment Service, Ministry of Forestry and Environment, private parties and universities. This collaboration is a strategic step to ensure program development and sustainability.