Indonesia’s Growing Waste

It’s no secret Indonesia has a waste problem, but what are we doing about it? There is trash everywhere we look and little resources to help keep Indonesia clean. We have created the tradition of “Gontong Royong” which brings us together to make our communities a cleaner and healthier place to live. The problem however is in the times we are not coming together, when we buy that bottle of water or tea or whatever it is and we toss the litter in the road. This mentality must change if we plan on having a future. Our thinking must CHANGE.

We Create The Waste, So Where Is It Going?

Everyday Jakarta alone creates approximately 6,250 Tons of waste a day. That is an alarming number to think about, and if we continue down this path we are just a time bomb of garbage waiting to explode! So how and why are we creating so much waste? With over 13.2 Million people in Jakarta alone (this number fluctuates throughout the day due to traveling workers) Jakarta is the 10th largest city in the WORLD. That is a lot of potential for trash to build up, however it is also an opportunity for us as citizens of this beautiful Country to make a change and CLEAN up after ourselves.

All of this waste that is thrown on the ground needs to go somewhere right? and it does, but not where it should go. The heavy rains wash the garbage into the canals and rivers that channel through Jakarta and surrounding Provinces and goes right into the ocean. The waste going into the ocean is another issue all on its own and we need to act fast. Jakarta is known for having some of the most polluted rivers and canals in the world. There are landfills like “Bekasi Dumpsite” the garbage which is organic and non organic has amounted to over 36 Million tons over the last 16 years.

This has created major problems with the local community due to the amount of rubbish, smell, and liquid runoff or(sampah basah) which is not part of the agreement between Bekasi and Jakarta. Unfortunately this has caused the Governor of Jakarta ” Sutiyoso was furious about this and ordered to padlock the site and open three temporary dumpsites in North and East Jakarta which resulted in more problems.

We Need To Reuse, Recycle, Reduce!

There are many ways to cut down on our waste, for example we can bring our own shopping bags when we go to the store. Or we can reuse that water bottle for our tea on the go. We can bring our own Tupperware when picking up from our favorite restaurant. We can separate our organics with non organic or create a compost for our gardens from the organic waste we would otherwise throw in the trash.

Recycling is another important role in reducing our waste. There are available locations to turn in your plastics to redeem money. You can get creative with the bottles you will throw away by simply turning them into pots for planting, then use the compost you created to fertilize your garden. There are a million ways to reuse, recycle, and reduce that there really is no other excuse other than being uneducated about different methods of recycling or just being lazy. With the power of social media and the internet its hard to not find some kind of “do it yourself” project that will teach you how to reduce or reuse your waste. Here is a link on DIY projects to Reuse or Recycle. For garden tips Click the link

The Importance Of Sorting

Why is it so important to Sort our trash? One of the major benefits of sorting our trash is to keep the inorganic and organic waste from reaching the dumpsites and being burned off which can cause damaging effects to our environment and the air we breathe. It’s all about how those materials are processed for post-consumer use.

  • Plastics get separated by grade, and then each grade is cleaned and chopped into little tiny pieces. So plastics of different grades that sneak by the sorting process are then a hundred times more difficult to sort as tiny pieces. Plastics are then melted down into molds to become a new product. A different grade can contaminate the batch and make a sub-par quality plastic that is unfit for reuse.
  • Paper and cardboard go through a similar cleaning process as plastics. They are sorted and cleaned (papers that are alike go through similar cleaning processes to wash out inks and contaminants). The paper is then chopped up into tiny pieces to create a pulp to recreate paper products.
  • Metals get sorted into different types (aluminum and tin in our case) to get processed and melted. A mix of metals melted down creates an alloy, which is not necessarily the desired end product for producing goods out of recycled metal.


Education & Participation

Through education and participation of waste management and following the tradition of “Gontong Royong” it is possible to have a brighter future here in Indonesia with cleaner air, rivers, canals, and overall living conditions. It takes not just one of us, but all of us to make this change possible. If we see trash on the ground we have a moral responsibility to pick it up and toss it in the garbage. When we see someone or our friends throwing trash on the ground we should let them know it is not the right way, and educate them on how they can do better. We can participate in “Plogging” which is a way to collect trash as you are jogging, So you get exercise and help the environment at the same time!

One of the best ways to help out is to join us in WORLD CLEANUP DAY in INDONESIA on September 15th and be a part of the worlds largest events to make Indonesia a better place to live.

world cleanup day


Let’s Do It Indonesia ! Help us and our efforts to cleanup Indonesia and educate our children in proper waste management because after all it starts at home and our children are our future. Educate them now so our future generations will take care of this planet and maintain a beautiful Indonesia for years to come.