Earlier this year I’ve got a chance to visit Bantargebang waste dump, one of the world’s largest landfills which located in Bekasi, Indonesia. It is also home to over thousands of families, who make a living amongst the garbage, scavenging what they can.
Based on a study in 2019, there are 10 million tons left out of 49 million tons of the Bantargebang waste dump storage capacity. It will be a serious problem if the volume of waste accommodated by the Bantargebang waste dump exceeds its capacity because it won’t be able to receive Jakarta's waste anymore. So, where should Jakarta dispose its waste?
Some of the waste goes into the processing system through a waste-to-energy plant. This project is a form of government commitment in suppressing the high production of plastic waste in Indonesia. In 'Presidential Regulation No. 18 of 2016', it is explained that this power plant was built in order to convert waste into energy sources, improve environmental quality, and increase electricity based on renewable energy. Based on the operational data of the Bantargebang waste-to-energy plant in 2020, it is proven that this power plant is able to reduce waste by up to 80%. In addition, with a capacity of 100 tons/day, the Bantargebang waste-to-energy plant can produce a maximum energy of 700 kWh of electrical energy.
However, the role of the community are still very important. The 3R activities which consist of reuse, reduce, and recycle as well as the circular economy is the solution in upstream reduction of waste. People should be aware that the use of technology such as waste-to-energy plant is not cheap.
What do you think about waste-to-energy plant? Do you think it can significantly solve the environmental problems in Indonesia?