Ni Komang Erviani , The Jakarta Post , Kuta | Wed, 11/19/2008 11:11 AM | Bali
Hundreds of state-run landfills in Indonesia still carry out poor practices when managing garbage, a senior official says.
“There are around 300 TPAs (Tempat Pembuangan Akhir) across the country and over half still practice open dumping,” the Director of Housing Health Development, Ir. Soesmono said last week on the sidelines of the International Workshop on Technology for Sanitary Landfill.
TPAs receive garbage from households, smaller landfills and private garbage disposal companies.
“Only a small number of TPAs process and manage garbage using proper methods,” he said.
Open dumping poses a serious threat to the health of people living near landfills and causes air, water and soil pollution. The methane released by decaying organic waste contributes to greenhouse gases that damage the ozone layer and create health risks for the human population.
Soesmono said the country’s major cities produced a huge amount of garbage on a daily basis. Jakarta produces 8,000 tons of garbage per day, Bekasi 1,000 tons, Bandung 1,500 tons and Denpasar 800 tons.
This massive amount of waste production, combined with improper processing methods, posed significant risks for the future, Soesmono said.
The government has set a target, under directives stipulated by the 2008 Garbage Management law, that by 2013 all state-run TPAs will have abandoned open dumping practices.
“If a TPA continues disposing waste in this fashion, then the head of the respective local administration would be punished,” Soesmono said.
The law stipulates that such a violation could result in a prison sentence of up to three years and a maximum fine of Rp 100 million.
Soesmono said “sanitary landfill”, a method using clay liner to isolate the trash from the environment, was the best alternative to open dumping. This method is not only friendly to the environment, but can transform garbage into compost, electric power and plastic granules.
The implementation of this “sanitary landfill”, however, is expensive and requires an initial investment of up to Rp 5 billion to process just one hectare of trash. The operational cost ranges from Rp 60,000 to Rp 100,000 per single ton of garbage.
“The high cost has made it difficult for the local administration to build TPAs that adopt this method,” Soesmono said.