Total savings :Up to 1,300 Tons of CO₂-equivalents per year (by avoiding methane emissions)
Technology transfer :Bamboo aerator composting method
Local environment :Reduction of methane emissions due to aerobic composting, recuction of the amount of solid waste due to recycling
Further advantages :Creation of jobs, reduction of health risks, strengthening of municipal infrastructure
Project partners :BORDA Bremen and BORDA South East Asia

Mountains of waste set major challenge to communities

The locations of the 21 "Municipal Recycling Facilities" (MRFs) on Java Island that had been aktive under "KIPRAH" between 2017 and 2019

With more than 255 million people, Indonesia is one of the most densely populated countries on earth. Particularly urban areas have to cope with huge amounts of solid waste, which confront municipal infrastructures with major challenges and heavily burden the local environment. Existing landfills are often poorly managed and unable to absorb the increasing amounts of solid waste. Particularly in peri-urban areas, this leads to wild dumping of garbage even within human settlements. Solid waste is not only a major risk for the local environment and people’s health; it also causes considerable amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane.

Poor neighbourhoods resolve the waste problem by themselves

Together with the German development association BORDA, atmosfair supports poor neighbourhoods in large cities on the Indonesian island Java to resolve the waste problem by themselves. So-called community-based organizations are trained to run small and decentralized recycling facilities (MRFs = Material Recovery Facilities). Waste is collected from households and brought to MRFs where it is separated by local employees. Recyclables like plastics and glass are sold and help financing the operation of MRFs, while the organic fraction is composted and provided as fertilizer. So-called bamboo aerators guarantee that sufficient quantities of oxygen are available during composting which avoids methane emissions. The small remainders are brought to existing landfills.

By supporting the operation of MRFs, the project helps to create jobs, improves the capacity for self-organization and contributes to improve the situation of local health and environment.

Currently, 15 MRFs are operational in the surroundings of Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Surabaya, further recycling yards are planned. Approximately 8,600 households are benefitting from waste collection and waste management. These facilities are compiled under the programme “KIPRAH”, an abbreviation for “Kita Pro Sampah”, which means in Bahasa Indonesian “We pro Waste”. The community based projects are supposed to enhance those on low income (esp. women) to actively participate in climate mitigation measures and furthermore to generate additional income

Climate Mitigation: Compost instead of Methane

Organic waste, which has not been treated or recycled properly before implementation of the programme, produces methane – a seriously polluting greenhouse gas – during the process of rotting. Now, the organic waste is specifically composted in the respective recycling facilities. Deploying certain bamboo aerators this special composting method avoids the production of methane through the supply of oxygen. Methane bears a 25 times higher global warming potential than CO₂. This means, that within the first 100 years after its emission the contribution of methane to the greenhouse effect is 25 times larger than the respective CO₂ value. As a consequence, the abatement of methane is a crucial step for fighting global warming.

atmosfair is part of the KIPRAH-programme since the end of 2009; since 2013 a standardized monitoring process is run in order to assess the amount of methane reduction in compliance with Gold Standard criterias.

Decentralized Solutions for Improved Environmental Protection, Health and Jobs

The decentralized organisation structure of the recycling facilities serves as a framework model to solve the increased waste production in the bigger urban areas, since it reduces work load of the giant, centralized dump sites and regains valuable waste materials. Of course, the structure and operation of the recycling facilities creates jobs too. There are at least two regular employees in each of the recycling yards. In addition, professionals are trained by KIPRAH in decentralized waste management. Collecting, recycling and composting avoids risks to health for humans and the environment which could occur if waste was not managed properly otherwise. The newly build infrastructure raises awareness for environmental issues. Within the KIPRAH-programme BORDA closely collaborates with the local governments who – due to good experiences with the recycling faciliites – in turn have voted for changes in communal waste legislation several times.

Waste Turns Into Life: Compost Used as Fertilizer for Gardening and Public Green Space.

Every single recycling facility produces an average of 800kg compost per month. Usually, this is sold to neighbours or farmers for gardening purposes or to the municipal government to manure public green spaces. This generates additional income of approximately 50€ per month. The qualitiy of the compost is verfified and certified by the ministry for agriculture.

Actively Practiced Environmental Education: Early Awareness Raising About Waste Issues Is a Must

For several years “Uncle Dino” explains to the kids in Java in a playful way how inappropriate handling of household waste becomes a threat to health and the environment. In theatre dramas and songs the children learn how to collect and separate the trash. In handy craft lessons the pupils can practice reusing plastics. Hereby, many classes have created so called “vertical gardens” made of PET-bottles. In order to avoid the waste problems of tomorrow “Uncle Dino goes to school” is therefore an important component of the KIPRAH-programme.

Your contact at atmosfair

Patrizia Pschera
Project Developer
M.Sc. Physical Engineering
+49 (0) 30 120 84 80 - 68