Revolutionizing Mountain Waste Management in Indonesia: Paving the Way for a Sustainable Future
Not Semeru or Jayawijaya, Indonesia has another mountain that has caught the attention of the international community. The mountain of garbage located in Bantar Gebang, Bekasi City, West Java Province, is currently as tall as a 16-story building and is becoming increasingly alarming. Maybe some of you have seen the post of famous Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio uploading a photo of the condition of the Bantar Gebang Integrated Waste Disposal Site. The phenomenon of this mountain of garbage has even become a serious international concern.
The Integrated Waste Disposal Site, which has 5 waste disposal zones with a total area of 110.3 hectares, is a landfill managed by the Bekasi and Jakarta local governments. Even so, the responsibility for solving this problem lies not only with the local government, but also with the central government and corporations. Because according to the statement of the Head of the DKI Jakarta Environmental Agency, companies also contribute a lot of plastic waste.
In resolving this issue, law no. 18 of 2008 concerning waste management has been issued. Waste management here is an activity that is systematic, comprehensive, and sustainable with the aim of reducing and handling waste. Waste, which is the residue of human activities, must be managed so that it does not have a negative impact on human life, such as environmental pollution or health problems. Waste is seen as one of the renewable energy sources and its utilization can be allocated for transportation and electric power.
Currently, there is a new ray of hope in the management of the mountain of waste in Bantar Gebang. Cooperation between the government and the private sector to solve this problem is starting to bear fruit through the construction of a waste power plant.
Fighting against time
To solve this problem, innovation is needed as an effort to reduce waste. It also requires the use of appropriate and safe technology in its implementation. In this regard, a collaboration between the government and corporations was formed to develop the waste power plant which was built since 2018, and inaugurated in 2019 yesterday. The construction of this power plant became a National Strategic Project in an effort to overcome environmental problems due to waste.
The PT ( Nusa Wijaya Abadi) NWA company in collaboration with the Bekasi city government uses circulating heat combusting boiler (CHCB) technology in this waste power plant. This technology uses waste or refuse derived fuel (RDF) as the main fuel to produce steam to drive turbines and generators. The use of residual waste or RDF itself is obtained by sorting organic and inorganic waste from the garbage mountain. Even so, the technology used in waste power plant Bantar Gebang has been adapted to the condition of waste that is generally in Indonesia, which is mixed and wet.
This technology is also claimed to be environmentally friendly. The emissions released by this waste power plant are still below the quality stone set by Ministry of Environment and Forestry with its performance looking good. Concerns that initially arose regarding the pollution generated were not proven in practice. This waste power plant has been proven to reduce the amount of waste without having a negative impact on the environment.
All Parties Participation Needed
Although the downstream solution is already underway with the waste power plant, it is still necessary to solve the problem upstream by educating and enforcing regulations on the community. The community must start reducing waste production so that the amount does not increase. In addition, the community must also start sorting waste into 5 parts, namely organic waste, waste that can still be recycled, plastic waste, non-plastic combustible waste, and residual waste. Waste segregation is important because the waste used in the waste power plant is non-plastic combustible waste.
In this regard, the National Research and Innovation Agency has participated in inviting the public to understand waste management, starting from the household, regional, to city scale. By providing training to the community, it is hoped that this can be integrated into the circular economy.
Although the performance of the Bantar Gebang waste power plant can be said to be successful, it is not yet fully optimized. The scale of waste destruction that can be done by this waste power plant is only around 100 tons / day, while the waste that enters Bantar Gebang every day amounts to 7500-7800 tons / day. The electricity generated is only 700 kW which is then used for the internal operation of the waste power plant unit only. So, it is necessary to build a larger scale for better results. Although it still needs a lot of improvement in its operation, the presence of this waste power plant provides new hope in solving the mountain of waste in Indonesia in the future.
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