Independent Community Waste Management in Karawang
Asia Pulp and Paper Sinar Mas
The increase on global population has a major impact on climate change, with waste management emerging as a key area of concern. Unmanaged waste can be responsible for deadly disasters such as floods and fires, which can result in creating extensive methane gas, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and other dangerous chemicals being released into the atmosphere. While the government of Indonesia has taken initiatives to tackle waste, the problem cannot be solved without individual action. Change of mind-set and behaviour from individuals and the community at large is what is ultimately required for success. PT Pindo Deli Pulp and Paper Mill, part of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas identified waste management as a concern in its neighboring communities. Responding to those issues, in 2016 the mill developed a proactive community waste management program and the formation of a community Waste Management Group, "KSM Sahabat Lingkungan". The program is centered around 300 households, mainly in Sukaluyu village in Karawang, and aims to turn waste into economic opportunity.
Focusing on behaviour change, the program started with a six-day workshop addressing needs, techniques and impacts of a waste management program within the community. The group hired collectors to gather waste from various households, who then stored the materials in a temporary landfill located on village owned land. The landfill is equipped with capabilities to separate organic and non-organic waste, with the organic waste being processed into fertilizer. The fertilizer is then distributed for free to the local farmers., while the non-organic waste such as plastics and cans are sold to local recycling facilities. This program maintains a close coordination with the local government, which supports the program by building waste bins, composter machines and purchasing motorbikes for waste collection activities. The program is in line with the Government’s goal to achieve Indonesia’s zero waste targets. As of 2019, approximately 3,150 households have joined the program
The implementation of this program has not only resulted in a cleaner and healthier environment for the community but has also provided financial benefit. By selling the non-organic waste to the recycling industry, on average KSM Sahabat Lingkungan is able to achieve a net income of IDR 6,000,000 per month. The group is also able to create jobs such as waste collectors, as well as employment opportunities within the facilities. The net income gained by the group is being used for infrastructure projects within the communities. The group is also expanding its activities into catfish farming. For each harvesting cycle, the community is able to generate an income of IDR 20-25 million with net profit around IDR 6-8 million. The waste bank group has been running for about 4 years and receives about 2 tons of waste every day, which is collected from 7000 households from the surrounding community. This success has also resulted in KSM Sahabat Lingkungan being officially recognized as a pilot program by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for household liquid waste management. As a result, the ministry provided support for the construction of waste water management installations as well as technical training and management for the program. Further, Sukaluyu village in Karawang, which is the main target area where “KSM Sahabat Lingkungan” operates, was recognized by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry as The Main Category of Climate Village Program at 2019.
A critical component for success of this program relies on obtaining full community support. It is important to identify a “champion” within the community who can help advocate for the program and build local support. Close alignment and dialogue with the local government is also critical for success. In addition, continued assistance and monitoring from all parties also helped to ensure the program meets and exceeds all its goals and objectives.
As waste is a universal global concern, as well as a priority for the Indonesian government, there is high potential to replicate the program. This integrated waste management program is a strong example of how local community can contribute to the achievement of national target to reduce 70% plastic waste and to manage 70% solid waste by 2025. Replication is possible through intensive collaboration between community group, local government and business sector.
During Covid 19 pandemic, the operational activities of the waste bank continued as usual. Sales of segregated waste which have economic value have decreased slightly due to lower demand from partners. Even so, KSM Sahabat Lingkungan is still running and continues to support community-based waste management activities in other locations. One of these initiatives is the development of TPS3R in the village of Kuta Negara supported by the Ministry of Public Work through the Citarum Harum Program, that aims to replicate community-based waste management such as that managed by KSM Sahabat Lingkungan.
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The beneficiaries of this program are the community around the village of Sukaluyu Karawang, which are around 7000 families. KSM collaborates with various stakeholders such as the Forestry and Environment Service, Public Works and Public Housing Service, Ministry of Forestry and Environment, private parties and universities. This collaboration is a strategic step to ensure program development and sustainability.