Thursday, 5 January 2017

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Finding sustainable waste management solutions is a hot topic throughout Indonesia, and Flores is no exception.  There is devastating amounts of rubbish both in the water and on land and with the growing tourism trade the need for action is becoming more and more clear.  Typically, much recyclabe waste in Labuan Bajo has been burned – including plastics which is extremely damaging to the environment and health.

Pak Robert Kenedy Diaz has been actively seeing waste management solutions for several years, and has recently started a recycling processing center in Labuann Bajo called 3R.

3R is a small operation.  The government have given Pak Kenedy access to a warehouse for processing and a motorbike for collection.  He also has an industrial shredder from a processing center in Ende. 

Processing materials for recycling is costly and time consuming.  Pak Kenedy’s costs include fuel, electricity and water as well as paying staff to help him collect and process the material.  In order to cover these costs he offers a collection service for a monthly contribution of Rp 100,000 per month.  
Processed materials are packed and shipped to Surabaya where they are sold to Bank Sampah. 

Payment for processed recylables is minimal, only Rp 1250 per Kilo of shredded plastic.  

The program at 3R is currently in it’s pilot phase and will be reviewed in April.

You might imagine that I was pretty thrilled to learn of this program.  Coming from Raja Ampat, where there was NO WASTE MANAGEMENT solution, let alone a recycling center, discovering 3R was quite the thrill!!  Given how much plastic we pick up from our beaches every week it's fantastic to know that there is somewhere to take it, locally, where it will be processed for recycling rather than ending up in what I can only imagine is one ghastly, poorly managed landfill.

To see what goes on, I took a visit to Pak Kenedy and his processing center today!

At the processing center, plastics are sorted, separated, washed and shredded.
Labels and lids are removed from bottles.  A time consuming process.
These single use cups illustrate the magnitude of the plastic waste in Lauan Bajo - they are waste deep and have been collected over just 3 months, or 12 collections.  And that's just from participating businesses.  Everything from the cups can be processed for recycling - the cup the lid and the straw - but it needs to be sorted and processed separately.
Pak Kenedy's industiral plastic shredder is on loan from a processing center in Ende, Flores.
Once plastic is clean and shredded it is ready to be packaged from shipment.

Pak Kenedy has networked with Trash Hero Komodo and Womens group 2PL (Perempuan Peduli Lingkungan) in his efforts to establish a sustainable waste management system in the Labuan Bajo and Komodo regions.  Some of the collected plastics are used by the women of 2PL to make handicrafts such as this basket made from the tops of single use plastic drink cups...

I'm very happy to say that we will now be separating our Recycling on Pulau Pungu to participate in this program.  

Baby steps...

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