Last week, an Indonesian delegation visited Denmark to explore Danish policies, solutions and management frameworks within bio-waste treatment. The delegation consisted of both government officials as well as public and private company representatives. The five-day long visit was organised by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, the Embassy of Denmark in Jakarta and State of Green.
The Indonesian delegation visited Billund BioRefinery to explore environmental technologies within biogas and water treatment; Bigadan to experience biogas application technology on large co-digestion biogas plants; and Odense Waste Management to discover waste management solutions and cooperation with Odense Municipality. The steering committee of the inter-agency cooperation held a meeting to discuss future plans for their partnership. The inter-agency cooperation is a governmental authority collaboration between the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Danish Ministry of Environment and Food, which focuses on circular economy, waste recycling and bioenergy systems.
Inspired by the Danish municipal waste framework
One of the main objectives of the visit was to gather insights on the Danish framework governing municipal bio-waste management. Ms Mariani Yanti, Head of City Cooperation in Jambi City paid special attention to the establishment of partnerships between the municipality and private companies. “I really appreciate this opportunity to witness some of the institutional setups available for waste management,” she said. “In Indonesia, the municipality is also responsible for managing waste, but in Denmark the government may contract various private companies to help.”
Through partnerships with private waste collection and waste management companies, Danish municipalities are able to make effective use of waste resources. In addition, the municipality sets up the requirements for the services they procure in their tenders; hence, the municipality plays an important role in promoting green growth and sustainable technologies through these requirements and in their contracts.
Conversely, Danish companies have argued that the administration and oversight of waste handling varies among the Danish municipalities – creating unequal conditions of competition between companies across municipality boarders. In September 2018, the Danish government launched its new Circular Economy Strategy, which, among other initiatives, seeks to address the issue of an uneven administration and enforcement of waste regulations. This will include an examination on how to gather administrative and supervisory tasks related to waste and recycling in one unit.
– Related solution: Waste-to-energy plant Copenhill/Amagerbakke
Bridging between Denmark and Indonesia on bio-waste treatment
The Indonesian visit to Denmark provided an opportunity for the two countries to bridge and share experiences on circular economy issues. One of the main challenges that Indonesian authorities are focusing on is that of separation of household bio-waste. Up to 70 per cent of waste in Indonesia consists of organic waste, and the majority of this waste ends up in landfills – meaning large untapped supply for biogas production. This is where solutions from Denmark come into play.
Building upon existing Danish efforts, which are concentrated on both policy and regulatory assistance as well as linking to technology providers, the delegation tour was planned around the topics of waste separation, bio-waste and gasification, as well as optimisation of waste management in order to effectively exploit waste resources.
The separation and sorting of different waste elements is essential for enabling effective recycling as well as diminishing the amount of waste sent to incineration and landfills. To ensure the successful extraction of value from waste streams, including on household level, the Danish government has been committed to establishing rules and regulations that support an effective transition to a circular economy.
Mr Uso Sidik, Deputy Director for Products and Packaging, stated that one of the greatest lessons from the visit was the importance of a strong political will combined with engagement from public authorities. “Both politicians and public authorities have the same clear vision and commitment to create a Danish welfare state that prioritises environmental protection and preservation,” he said.
– Related solution: Converting Food Scraps into Energy
Promoting Danish solutions through the Strategic Sector Cooperation Project
Through the Strategic Cooperation Project, the Danish government promotes Danish solutions that can contribute to sustainable development in emerging markets. The inter-agency cooperation involves Denmark sending a Danish sector counsellor with expertise in the field of waste to the Danish embassy in Jakarta to develop close collaboration between the Danish and Indonesian authorities.
The sector counsellor focusses on areas where Denmark has special skills, knowledge and technology, and helps to assess how Danish solutions can contribute and be adapted to meet local demand. “It is very uplifting to see how both Danish and Indonesian authorities are starting to embrace this partnership and see the value in exchanging experiences within policies, legislation and technologies in the environmental sector. This trip will certainly creative lots of constructively dialogue between the various stakeholders in both Indonesia and Denmark,” said Morten Holm van Donk, Environmental Sector Counsellor at the Embassy of Denmark in Jakarta.
Learn more about Denmark’s Strategic Sector Cooperation projects