State of Green
By State of Green, July 17, 2018

In the coming years, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency will be working together with the Indonesian government to help them recycle a greater part of the country’s huge amounts of waste.

In the Indonesian city, Jakarta, there is only one landfill. The more than ten million inhabitants in Jakarta produce 7,500 tonnes of waste each day and the majority of this waste ends up at this landfill. However, just like other parts of Indonesia, the city is about to run out of space. Consequently, the authorities need to create a system that can reduce and reuse the huge amounts of waste.

Since September 2017, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency has collaborated with the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment in supporting Indonesia and its 260 million inhabitants to create a better waste management system. So far, the partners have agreed on the terms of the joint project and they are now ready to get started. The first part of the project will run for the next four and a half years.

-Related news: Denmark expands it’s deposit system to increase recycling

The Danish role in the project will consist of knowledge sharing, counselling, training and developing ideas to how Indonesia more concretely can turn the waste into a resource instead of throwing it away at the already congested landfill or burning it at home. Among other things, this must be done by finding solutions in Indonesia that already work and that can be spread to the rest of the country.

Great value in organic waste
One of the key words is better sorting and better utilisation of the values in the waste. In this regard, organic waste from households is a good place to start. Up to 70 percent of the waste in Indonesia consists of organic material, which could be composted and turned into biogas and fertilizer. This would result in a large reduction of waste, and at the same time, it would make it easier to manage the remaining waste. In this context, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency can share national experience and solutions.

Additionally, the trash with the most value must be sorted. Lots of indicators suggest that an economic incentive can be established for sorting e.g. metals, cardboard, plastic and electronics. Already today, many citizens make their living rummaging through landfills and then reselling the valuable materials.

Danish solutions are being implemented
However, not all waste can be recycled, and because of this, Indonesia will have to establish more landfills, which are less harmfull for the environment and the citizens’ health. At the same time, Danish companies are already in the process of helping Indonesia develop incineration plants that can transform waste into energy.

-Related news: Europe needs to improve its waste recycling rates

The ambition with the project is that part of the solutions should come from Danish companies that are specialised within techonology for treatment of organic waste, reutilisation and circular economy etc. Several of the solutions will be presented to the Indonesian government during the project.

In addition to helping to create a better recycling system, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency also advises on waste data and statistics that can make it easier for the Indonesian authorities to locate problem areas.


  • Bantar Gebang Landfill is the only landfill in Jakarta and it daily receives the majority of the 7,500 tonnes of waste from the metropolis’ inhabitants.
  • The Indonesian government has an ambition to reduce the amount of waste with 30 percent by 2025. At the same time, more than 70 percent of the waste should be recycled.
  • Indonesia is not the only country that Denmark helps to develop environmental solutions. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has similar projects in Kenya, Turkey, South Africa, China and Vietnam


Source: The Danish Ministry of Environment and Food (in Danish)

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