Solid Waste Management in Indonesia: An Overview

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Garbage is one of the biggest problems that have brought its share of problems to the growing Indonesian population. As an Asian developing country suffers from this problem which leads the country to be considered as one of the countries that have the highest rate of solid waste (SW). Although there is no one great solution to solve all the problems instead of having multiple integrated solutions to solve the issues, the bottom line is there is always a possibility of improvising the solid waste management system because the economic growth and the waste and consumption resources are inseparable(Abdallah et al., 2020; Behzad et al., 2020).

In developing countries, organic waste is varied but organic waste is very dominant. Indonesia as a developing country is in the top 5 countries that generate solid waste at 65.2 million tons in 2021 and this kind of statistic needs to be announced well in a developing country to increase the citizens’ awareness. In 2025 global solid waste will reach 148 billion tons, and 56% of it, is from developing countries (Alam & Qiao, 2020). Managing waste can be a daunting task without the right infrastructure to support it and Indonesia is known as the 14th largest country in the world (Largest Countries In The World 2021, n.d.). Among Indonesia’s cities, the most SW can be found in Jakarta. One reason Jakarta was considered the source is that the city was used as the center of goods trading, communication, and even business. In other words, the city is the central market to other cities and areas in Indonesia. The population of Jakarta kept steadily increasing since people who are both coming from outside of Indonesia and Jakarta are mostly searching for their daily needs like jobs, education, and businesses.

This increase in population became a noticeable problem for the government because it was difficult to organize and manage them, including the SW they inevitably generate. Of this, only 70% of the waste was collected in a 2007 study. In the same year, they generate up to 6000 tons generated per day and a lot of it ends up in the 110-hectare Bantar Gebang landfill which has a sizable population working on it to collect things of recyclable value. This garbage mountain is not only hazardous to the workers, but it also emits unwanted gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) which are well-known contributors to climate change. Up to 1000 tonnes even end up in the ocean (Indonesia’s Plastic Waste Problem | The ASEAN Post, n.d.). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic healthcare waste is increasing greatly and is also threatening human health and the environment, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic(Das et al., 2021), (Sharma et al., 2020). Other than medical waste, we also need to pay more attention to solid waste from the hospitality industry because the number of the hospitality industry is growing too (Filimonau, 2021).

Even the government has tried to pass “Regulation No. 81/2012 on the management of household waste” including “to regulate the at-source separation of waste” and managing it before it is collected in the later processes (Soma, 2020). Unfortunately, lack of awareness has not done this regulation much good. While it is indeed possible to simply find a larger hole to dump the increasing amount of waste, there is an inherent fault if the larger city of Tokyo can maintain a cleaner city. And in China, several recommendations have been made to improve solid waste management, such as reducing waste generation, increasing recycling, proper landfilling, etc. (Soma, 2020). This problem continued in an endless loop and the government, and its population is having a hard time solving it. To have a better environment, and economic, and social development, waste, and recycling management must be included in the construction project before the start and after it is finished (Sindhu et al., 2019) (Guo et al., 2021). The waste generated has only increased as time passed. Even when the government has tried to convince its people both by law and regulations such as to not loiter or throw any garbage everywhere they should throw them in the trash bin that has been provided. However, they were still persistent in their bad habits and the consequences of their actions affect many people until now. All aspects of technical and non-technical must be analyzed and improved because both are needed to draw holistic solutions (Sauve & van Acker, 2020). The constantly changing composition of waste is one of the reasons we need integrated systems to manage the available facilities (Banerjee et al., 2019). The government must aim to provide a way to tackle waste management from the perspective of a distributed system because the waste management issue is involving many parties, such as human health, social, economic, and social Fields(Turcott Cervantes et al., 2018). As technology is getting more advanced (Noprisson et al., 2017)., using technology or ICT is the best way to solve such problems, because ICT can be applied in management, such as solid waste management.