Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Coastal region and small island papers 6

Community-based waste management in Jakarta 

A growing population and an increase in urban commerce and industry have given Jakarta a serious waste problem. Solid waste management has been identified as an important issue and while attention has traditionally focused on the provision of infrastructure, facilities and equipment, alternative approaches merit consideration. These include the promotion of waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

The 'Clean up Jakarta Bay' initiative was launched in 1996 with UNESCO support. This campaign united local community groups, NGOs, governmental organizations and the media through three main activities: solid waste monitoring; waste composting and re-cycling; and environmental education for all.


In 1997, Yayasan Kirai Indonesia (NGO) in co-operation with UNESCO, analysed and summarised waste production in Jakarta, based on data provided by the city government. Figure 3 shows a comprehensive flow diagram of waste management in Jakarta.

Figure 3.
production and
in Jakarta

4.1.1. Solid waste composition



Non-compostable matter 26.11
Paper 10.18
Wood 0.98
Fabric 1.57
Rubber/Leather 0.56
Plastic 7.86
Metal 2.04
Glass 1.77
Battery 0.29  
Other 0.86
Compostable, organic matter 73.92
Table 3.
in Jakarta  
Source: Jakarta City government

Every day the urban population of Jabotabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang and Bekasi) generates over 35,000 m3 of garbage (enough to cover a soccer pitch to a depth of over 5 m), of which 26,000 m3 is from the city of Jakarta.

An initial study concluded that paper and plastics make up the bulk of waste and that waste production has increased in line with population growth. Between 1990 and 1995 the fraction of paper in the garbage rose from 8.28% to 10.18%; plastics rose from 5.54% to 7.86%. The rise in plastic content is thought to be related to increases in consumer goods, which are plastic wrapped.

Solid waste is generated by households (52%), traditional and temporary markets (17%), commercial areas (15%), industrial areas (15%) and the streets (1%). The garbage composition in Jakarta in 1995 was 74% compostable, organic matter and 26% non-compostable matter (paper, wood, rubber, leather, plastic, metal, glass, etc.), see Table 3.  

4.1.2. Waste collection methods

83% of the garbage produced in Jakarta is collected by the local community, scavengers, the local government and the private sector. The remaining 17% is thrown into the rivers. Outside the city of Jakarta, only about 50% of the waste generated is collected, and 20% of that does not find its way to a disposal site which in any case may only be a smouldering open dump.

Waste collection methods necessarily involve some or all of the following steps: collection from households or other premises; consolidation in temporary storage sites (Tempat Penumpukan Sementara TPS); transport to a transfer station; and transport to a final disposal site.

Household collection

Household waste reaches temporary storage sites (large bins, enclosed sites, market areas, or designated roadside areas) in a variety of ways:

Traditional market areas



There are two types of traditional market: permanent and temporary. Solid waste is removed from permanent market areas by the Market Authority using open trucks and is taken to temporary or final disposal sites. Waste from temporary markets is usually collected by local government workers using handcarts and taken to the nearest temporary storage site. Some temporary markets are serviced by Cleaning Department workers using open trucks.

Prior to collection, solid waste is dumped near the market area on the roadside, on open land or in open concrete bins. The high content of biodegradable matter of market waste makes this unsightly, creates unpleasant odours and is unsanitary. Waste often spreads from these sites into drains causing blockages leading to local flooding.

Since most permanent markets are adjacent to roads and accessible by trucks they are ideal sites for the use of covered steel bins serviced by 'roll-arm' trucks. Smaller, less accessible traditional markets may still need to be serviced by handcart collection, but should be provided with covered bins for temporary storage.

Commercial and industrial areas

Solid waste from small commercial and industrial areas is usually collected by handcart and taken directly to a temporary storage site. Larger commercial and industrial areas are serviced by trucks that transfer the waste directly to temporary or final disposal sites. As with households and market areas, the greatest threat to health and sanitation is the use of open concrete bins for temporary disposal of waste. These need to be progressively replaced with covered bins of appropriate size for the next transfer stage.


In residential areas, each householder is responsible for the removal of any solid waste from the front of their house. Streets in non-residential areas, such as commercial areas and main roads, are swept by local government employees. The cost of street sweeping is high, Jakarta spends about 40% of its solid waste budget on this. Ways to reduce this cost without lowering the standards of cleanliness need to be investigated.

4.1.3. Waste disposal

There are two principal means of solid waste disposal in the Jabotabek region: open dumping and sanitary landfill. Low swampy areas are commonly chosen for open dumping. The height of the dumped waste is usually two to four metres. Cove ring soil is seldom used at the time of disposal, but a final cove ring is usually applied later. Open dumping is an apparently low cost waste disposal option, but only in the short term. In the medium and long-term it is costly due to inefficient land use and the remedial effort needed to make the land available for other uses. The sanitary landfill method is specifically aimed at minimising the adverse impacts of open dumping. Table 4 compares open dumping and sanitary landfills.

Formal sites are indistinguishable from illegal sites and therefore encourage indiscriminate dumping. Control and check the amount and type of waste and prevent disposal of hazardous materials.

Waste is poorly compacted and occupies an unnecessarily large area.

Ensures the maximum compaction of disposed waste.  
Provides a breeding site for vermin. Prevents breeding of insects and vermin.
Sites give off foul odours.
Prone to subsidence limiting future development options.
Prevents foul odours.
Maintain site stability and reduce the rate of leachate generation by regular coverage with soil .  
On sloping sites, dumps can become unstable and damage down-slope facilities. Proper planning reduces impact on adjacent sites and provides for site restoration and other use s after the landfill is closed.  
Lack of drainage and leachate recovery leads to contamination of groundwater. Protect groundwater by the recovery and re-circulation/treatment of leachate.  
Smouldering fires are common producing smoke and noxious fumes. Prevent air pollution caused by rubbish fires.
Landfill gases are difficult to recover for use as fuel, cause foul odours and are potentially explosive. Facilitate the management, possible recovery and use of landfill gases.
Table 4.
Comparison of open
dumping and
sanitary landfill

The presence of garbage poses serious health problems. Organic material may be a breeding ground for disease. Chemical pollutants once absorbed into the soil cannot be removed without considerable cost and their entry into the human food chain is inevitable and unhealthy.

The disposal of some of Jakarta's solid garbage into the sea has resulted in a covering of plastic on the sea floor in the Seribu Islands. This affects benthic communities such as coral reefs, seagrasses and the species that use these habitats as breeding grounds. This in turn has economic consequences for the fishers and other inhabitants of the archipelago.

4.1.4. Assessment

To deal adequately with the garbage produced daily in Jakarta, the city needs a well organised, well funded waste management programme and infrastructure. In view of current economic conditions, this goal is not likely to be achieved in the short term. The mobility of many of the inhabitants of Jakarta is one of the reasons why it is hard to ensure adequate management. Since some communities view flooding as an annual occurrence, they see the water ways as conduits washing away the accumulated rubbish. For the majority of Jakarta's residents, waste is viewed as a commercial and industrial problem, rather than a household and community problem. Aesthetically, the problem of garbage may be understood, but rarely does this transfer to an appreciation of the environmental repercussions of improper waste disposal.


4.2.1. Household waste composting and paper recycling

The waste generated in urban areas has been increasing in quantity, and the problem cannot be solved merely by supplying more equipment, personnel and budget for solid waste management. Waste reduction, recycling and re-use needs to be introduced and promoted.

Of the municipal waste in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area, 74% consists of organic matter, which can easily be processed into compost using simple technology, with little investment, thereby saving money and simultaneously protecting the environment.

Young people
being taught
in the Banjarsari
recycling centre

When waste containing organic refuse is subjected to a process of decomposition under aerobic conditions at a temperature of 4060C, it becomes compost. The resulting compost can be used for agricultural land, parks and even shrimp farming as an organic fertiliser or soil conditioner. At least 3060 days are required for the decomposition process. Although the maintenance and control of the process appears simple, the production of good quality compost depends on the selection of suitable organic waste, minimising foreign matter and the maintenance of ideal fermentation conditions over a long period of time.

Based on the idea that a community is the most important unit for effective waste management, the project is carrying out a number of waste management and recycling activities.

Assistance was provided to NGOs to set up community-based recycling and composting. Training was given in new waste management practices, which would provide economic benefits to the participants. Recycling organic matter was the basis of these community waste management initiatives. Through training in composting, with and without worms, organic recycling has become available to both households and markets.

In co-operation with the Kirai Indonesia Foundation, the project has, since 1996, concentrated activity in Banjarsari, Kelurahan Cilandak, south Jakarta. At present Banjarsari is probably one of the few neighbourhoods in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area where the inhabitants are highly aware of environmental quality.


After providing training in paper recycling, composting and environmental education, the people of Banjarsari were encouraged to set up a small scale Environmental Committee or Komite Lingkungan, which represents the neighbourhood. Then a small-scale recycling centre, located on 'idle' land, was established. Here young people recycle paper and carry out composting. The community has the task of providing household organic waste and paper for the centre. The young people also plant medicinal herbs in the compost, and further planting will be encouraged in the kampungs. A community-greening programme will be a further phase of the project in Banjarsari, Kapuk Muara and Kronjo. This is urgently needed since people in the kampung areas live in cramped houses lacking ventilation, and need green open spaces.

in Kapuk
Muara and


Women make cotton bags and other handmade products out of flour sacks at the centre. There is also a show room for the products (recycled paper products, compost, cotton bags etc.), which are sold to the public. So far, the project has been successful, the environment is greener, adolescents and women have become more productive, and young people have gone on short training courses using the profits generated. Recently a marketing co-operative has been established.

Following the success of solid waste management in Banjarsari, a second community-based recycling centre in Kapuk Muara in north Jakarta was initiated in 1999. This centre is a place for learning and a venue where the community can discuss environmental problems. Adolescents have already produced recycled paper products and compost.

As a result of the establishment of these two centres, 19 different groups, including students, unemployed people and women's groups, were trained in paper recycling and composting in 1999. Demand is increasing for training in such alternative income-generating activities.

Products of

To complement these efforts, a waste reduction programme needs to be developed. Some industries, distributors, department stores and supermarkets have been consulted and are interested in supporting the programme, as it will help them save money. The next step will be to prepare the formal policy, regulations and awareness campaigns. Industrialists need to develop more efficient processes that produce less waste. Meanwhile, traders and services need to minimise packaging and wrapping, and consumers need to develop greater environmental awareness and the will to refuse to buy commodities that produce too much packaging. Political support will be an important part of such a programme, since waste collection is run by the private sector, thus from a business viewpoint, more waste equals more profit.

4.2.2. Traditional market waste management

In Jakarta there are two types of markets: formal markets are government-built, planned markets designed by the City's Market Spatial Planning Committee; informal markets are those that spontaneously expand from street stalls and over time begin to resemble the managed markets. The daily waste produced by traditional markets in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area is considerable, about 4,000 m3 a day.

In September 1997, in association with the NGO Kirai, the project started a waste management and composting activity in Bintaro traditional market, which would eventually provide a model for sustainable waste management in traditional markets.

Training courses for organic matter recycling were organised in the market. Two different-coloured baskets were provided for organic and inorganic waste collection. The market's organic waste was recycled using the 'heap' method. Compost was produced, providing income for local vendors. In Bintaro Market two people were responsible for collecting organic waste and its subsequent composting. By the end of the two-month project a 40% reduction in total waste was achieved.

The problem with implementing a waste management project, such as the one at Bintaro, is finding the space within the market for organic recycling. Bintaro was chosen because it had space. Informal markets are more likely to have sufficient space; formal markets have not been planned for recycling. In order for organic recycling to be incorporated into all the markets of Jakarta , it must become a part of the Jakarta municipality (DKI) market plans so that the extra space is created when ever markets are built or renovated. The model of waste management adopted at Bintaro market has not yet been included in DKI's Market Spatial Planning. Future success therefore depends on the political will of decision-makers and other stakeholders at a regional level to change the waste management of markets.  

market waste
organic matter
composting by
heap method

A seminar on traditional market waste management and recycling was held for decision-makers and the public through a programme called PROPASIH (Program Pasar Bersih clean market programme).

Difficulties in marshalling political support also hamper the re-assessment of Jakarta's waste collection system. Under the current system there are no incentives for improved efficiency in waste management since the production of less waste does not lead to a reduction in costs. In Bintaro market four trucks must still be paid for, even though only three are filled. This is largely due to waste collection being a business run by the private sector.

Market research needs to be conducted to determine potential sales outlets for the organic compost produced by Bintaro; gardening companies which service wealthy areas of Jakarta or greenhouses which have a retail facility may be suitable buyers. In order for the public market composting activities to advance beyond their present externally funded status, a means of turning the organic compost into a viable source of income must be found.

Products of


In November 1999, a second composting pilot project was started in Pluit traditional market, north Jakarta. An environmental campaign was carried out in the market by 40 high school students. They talked to vendors and customers and helped to separate the market waste, explaining the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. The idea of this activity is to popularise recycling ideas, to educate young people to see the real problems in their community and, at the same time, take an active part in the project. In January 2000 the Pluit Market manager was awarded a prize by the Jakarta City government for the waste management scheme adopted at the market.  


With an average of 1,400 m3 of rubbish being thrown into Jakarta's rivers everyday, it is clear that the problem of waste management is not simply a matter of garbage collection, but also of public education. Education in alternative practices for those living around rivers will help reduce dumping of waste into rivers.

The Jakarta Bay project has programmes in the three forms of environmental education highlighted by Agenda 21 (Chapter 36) of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED): re-orienting education towards sustainable development; increasing public awareness; and promoting training.

4.3.1. School programmes

Environmental education is not uncommon within the Indonesian school system, but like many new areas of study it does not receive the necessary funding and training required. Environmental education essentially involves many areas of study, from natural sciences to history and philosophy. It is most successful if integrated into existing subjects rather than as an independent or optional course.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has an integrated programme to develop greater environmental awareness at the school level. The programme consists of two components:

The programmes have been carried out with very limited resources and budgets, and have consequently had little impact. About 26,000 teachers and 27 provincial management units have been trained, compared to a total teacher population in Indonesia of nearly 2.4 million.

Environmental education must include formal and informal modes. UNESCO can offer assistance with both avenues firstly, by contributing environmental education modules to a task force examining the national curriculum, which is due to change in 2004. Secondly, assistance can be given through informal education activities, which will add a new dimension.

In order for environmental education to be successful in schools, the teachers themselves must first be taught. Following a workshop on Pari Island, a significant need was identified for teaching material that would allow for an environmental component to be included in the subjects already taught. UNESCO proposes to offer an in-service workshop for teachers in the Seribu Islands and Kronjo. This would include an extra two days at the teachers' annual general meeting to provide the tools, and training on the use of the teaching resources, as well as to create a support network for environmental education among the islands.

for children,
and fishers

One of the primary aims of the Jakarta Bay Project is to improve environmental awareness among young people living in Jakarta and the Seribu Islands, for a better understanding of the environment will lead to its protection. Education and training objectives for youth fit within a broader policy of 'education for all'. To date this project's focus has been on communities affected by waste problems in Jakarta and those communities which place stress on the coastal marine environment, both on the islands and along the rivers which feed into Jakarta Bay.  

Besides incorporating environmental topics into the teaching of other subjects, at the high school level there is a need to develop focused studies to combat coastal environmental destruction. Such a programme should provide general background information on the interrelationship between urban activities and coastal environmental quality, and specifically the following:

4.3.2. Informal education programmes

Informal field and action-orientated activities are an important education mode, which can complement formal school programmes.

Some field courses have been organised for young people, the objectives of which are to:

Two field courses were organised in 1999 on coastal environmental education. Participants included students, teachers and young journalists.

Student in
paper recycling

In co-operation with Antara (an Indonesian News Agency), a monthly bulletin in Indonesian entitled Lautku (My ocean) has been published since August 1999. Target readers are students and young fishers. The aim is to encourage young people to know more about coastal and marine environments, enhance their interest in marine science, increase their knowledge about the sea and cultivate a healthy attitude towards the sea.

The project has also supported action-orientated education. After a number of environmental education sessions and training in composting and paper recycling, the students of Senior Public High School No. 34 in Jakarta began to recycle their paper. Through the students' science club they now regularly produce very artistic paper. They also carry out some composting, although not in large quantities since they prefer to recycle and sell paper. They reported that there are many other schools interested in following their example, and they are willing to teach other groups. In bazaars and fairs, they have attracted visitors by demonstrating how to recycle paper, and marketing is no problem. Recycling programmes for schools is a good way to educate students to be wise in facing environmental problems.

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