Bogor, West Java (Indonesia Window) – Even though the sun was shining quite intense in that afternoon, Wilda Yanti, an environment practitioner, was happy as she welcomed a family who delivered some garbage bags to the waste management facility in the Sentul City area, Bogor (West Java) in their private car.
Likewise, Wilda was very happy as she found that the wastes had been sorted according to the types and materials.
The plastic bottles have even been separated into lids, labels, bottle necks, and bottle bodies which were placed in different bags. In addition to those materials, there were also glass bottles, plastic glasses, papers, used cardboards, and other plastic packaging.
“Wow, this is so cool …,” Wilda, who is the Secretary General of the Indonesian Waste Bank Association (Asobsi), hailed.
Wilda admitted that she was very pleased to see such behavior of people in managing wastes as sorting wastes from home before being disposed of in a trash bin or a final disposal site.
She said the habit of sorting garbage at home based on its type – organic and unorganic – was not yet common in the community.
“Even though there are many advantages of sorting garbage at home,” she said, explaining that disposing of sorted wastes helps other parties manage wastes in terms of time, energy, and costs.
However, the costs of waste management that have been paid by people often make them reluctant to be involved in protecting their own environment.
Wilda pointed out that wastes which were not sorted at home could degrade the environment with bad odors coming from decomposed-organic wastes which were mixed with other garbage.
In addition, such a waste as used cooking oil that is often thrown away into waterways or undecomposed-plastic packaging in the soil, would reduce the quality of ground water around the house.
“We are still continuing to make socialization and educate people about sorting wastes from homes. Actually, sorting domestic wastes gives huge benefits and direct impacts to our life,” she explained.
Efforts to manage wastes while preserving the environment are communal work that requires people’s participation.
She further said one of the efforts to reduce waste management cost is through waste bank where people can actively participate in, from collecting, sorting and utilizing household wastes at home to delivering residual wastes that cannot be further processed to the bank.
“Indonesia is the first country to implement waste bank in the world. The concept is unique. We emphasize that those who make wastes are the ones who are responsible for them,” Wilda said.
According to her, by involving people from the first chain of waste management since at home, the costs for those activities can be reduced.
“With rubbish that has been sorted from home, we could reduce the costs for workers at landfills, shorten the time of processes as the wastes have been sorted beforehand, and reduce the costs for transportation of garbage-collecting trucks and workers because there is less waste to be transported from houses to landfills,” Wilda explained.
Meanwhile, organic wastes could be processed at home into fertilizer that is useful for fertilizing plants around the house.
For people who take part in the waste bank activities, they can exchange the sorted wastes to money or other products, such as fish, meat, cooking oil, or fertilizer.
“Thus, economic activities continue to move, and the joint movement to manage wastes can be participated in by all the community members,” Wilda said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window