In an effort to tackle its rapidly growing waste problem at the Bantar Gebang landfill in Bekasi, West Java, the city administration is set to start landfill mining, or digging up trash to be processed and used as a form of alternative energy.
The method is a stark departure from its usual strategy of simply letting the waste accumulate, then cover it with red soil and hope that is enough to prevent contamination.
“With landfill mining, [we can] reduce the amount of waste piling up [at Bantar Gebang]. The system would also allow us to employ the scavengers of the area to collect waste and process it into an alternative source of fuel to replace coal,” Jakarta Environmental Agency head, Isnawa Adji, said at the landfill on Tuesday.
This would be the first time landfill mining is used in Indonesia, making Bantar Gebang a pilot project for the waste management method in the country, Isnawa said, adding that the implementation would be supported by the Cipta Karya Directorate General of the Public Works and Housing Ministry, the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology and the Bandung Institute of Technology. The agency has proposed a budget of Rp 80 billion (US$ 5.67 million) for the project.
The administration has forged a cooperation agreement with cement manufacturer PT Holcim Indonesia Tbk, which will use the processed waste to power its cement factory.
The city aims to breathe new life to Bantar Gebang, on which it has solely relied to hold the around 8,000 tons of waste it produces every day. Studies have reported that Jakarta and Bekasi are racing against time as the landfill will reach its maximum capacity by 2021.
The administration also plans to use Bantar Gebang as a re- search site for waste management by renovating the landfill’s operational office.
“We will build a research center. It will feature a laboratory, classrooms, meeting rooms and an exhibition room,” Isnawa said.
Operating since 1989, landfill will soon be supported by Jakarta’s own Intermediate Treatment Facility (ITF) in Sunter, North Jakarta, which kicked off construction in December in a bid to reduce the capital’s dependence on Bantar Gebang.
The new treatment facility will be able to process around 2,200 tons of waste per day.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan along with Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi inaugurated a car wash for garbage trucks and a nearby mosque on Tuesday as additional facilities for the landfill. By washing the garbage trucks, the administration hopes to reduce the stench they bring to nearby neighborhoods.
The event marked Anies’ firstever official visit to Bantar Gebang since he became governor and following a dispute with Bekasi over a grant the latter had requested as “stink money”.
The Jakarta administration previously refused to give its Bekasi counterpart Rp 2 trillion to compensate residents for the daily stench coming from the landfill. In retaliation, the Bekasi Transportation Agency blocked Jakarta garbage trucks from traveling to the dump site.
“We will continue to work with Bekasi so that we will be integrated both economically and socially,” Anies said. “We govern an area that is separated by borders but we are truly working together under the same Indonesian flag.”
In the long run, he added, both cities should combat the waste problem for future generations until “no mountains of trash can be seen in the area”.
According to Jakarta’s midterm development plan, the administration aims to reduce its waste to 1,050 ton per day with waste management efforts, which includes a plan to build three more ITFs to independently manage its own waste.
“Don’t let [the mountains of trash] be a monument for our grandchildren. It should instead be in a museum to show that we have learned from the past,” Anies said.
Source: Jakarta Post, 16 January 2019