Fifteen years ago, exactly on February 21, 2005, a waste landslide occurred at the Leuwigajah Landfill, Cimahi, West Java. This tragedy then triggered the declaration of the Indonesian Waste Awareness Day which is celebrated annually with different themes. Waste issues, however, have been recognized as a global rather than local environmental problem, because of the significant contribution of waste-related emissions to, for example, climate change. In Sweden, although their waste management system is considered to function well, it is estimated that 70% of the recyclable and biodegradable waste is still collected unsorted and subsequently incinerated, regardless of the ample sorting infrastructure available in the country.
The results of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) plastic waste study conducted by LCI together with Bappenas and Waste4Change showed the important role of waste sorting at source on waste management scheme in Indonesia. By sorting, it’ll be able to support the JAKSTRANAS target, where 70% of waste is managed in 2025 and reduces waste generation. This finding is in accordance with Tchobanoglous et al. (1993) that explains six main functions upholding a sustainable municipal solid waste management: (1) waste generation, (2) waste handling and separation at the source, (3) collection, (4) transfer and transport, (5) processing and transformation of waste in material recovery facilities and (6) disposal.
A well-sorted waste will then be a good material for recycling; consequently resulting in efficient recycling operations. Based on LCA method, environmental benefits increase with the recycling rates[2,3], especially when increasing recycling of the metal and plastic fractions. Our LCA study shows that waste sorting and recycling can help to reduce GHG emission 0.21 kg CO2 eq per kg of plastic waste or equal to 26.8 times your smartphone charged. Thus, without a change in our values and attitudes towards environmental responsibility (i.e. sorting our waste), sustainable waste management will only lie far beyond. Also, with only 66 days, we would be able to build a habit of sorting our own waste.
In order to commemorate the Indonesian Waste Awareness Day 2020, we challenge you to join the sorting-spree spirit to foster our environmental consciousness together!
As a sustainability consulting firm, Life Cycle Indonesia supports organisations to save the earth through Life Cycle Perspective and LCA towards environmental responsibility. Should your organisation be involved in the sustainability journey, have yourself connect with us at email@example.com.
1. Swedish Waste Management Association (2015) Hushållsavfall i siffrorkommun- och länsstatistik 2014 [Household waste statistics 2014]. Malmö, Sweden (in Swedish)
2. Dong J, Ni M, Chi Y, et al. (2013) Life cycle and economic assessment of source-separated MSW collection with regard to greenhouse gas emissions: A case study in China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 20: 5512–5524
3. Song Q, Wang Z and Li J (2013) Environmental performance of municipal solid waste strategies based on LCA method: A case study of Macau. Journal of Cleaner Production 57: 92–100
4. Bernstad AK, la Cour Jansen J and Aspegren H (2011) Life cycle assessment of a household solid waste source separation programme: A Swedish case study. Waste Management & Research 29: 1027–1042.
5. Lally P, Van Jaarsveld C. H. M., et al. (2010) How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology 40: 998–1009