Addressing the Waste Issue through Community Waste Bank
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.
In detail, the objectives of this program are as follows: • Encourage independent household waste management and integrate with the government waste management system • Encourage public and stakeholder awareness related sustainable waste management and its importance for future generations • Empowering the surrounding community by providing an alternative to additional income through waste management that has economic value • Encourage multi-stakeholder collaboration to find sustainable environmental management solutions
Community based waste management coordinated by Gampingan Village is an example of best practice community-based sustainable waste management initiatives. In this case the parties involved are not only the community and Ekamas Fortuna, but also the government. To ensure the sustainability and development of the program, together with Ekamas Fortuna, the group is actively collaborating with the local government, especially the Forestry and Environment office. For government, this initiative also support government for accelerating the development process, especially related to environmental conservation and waste management in Malang District and supports the achievement of the SDGs, especially goal 12, ensuring sustainable consumption and production.
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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