Headlines

Movement to address acute
waste problems in Bali
launched

A group of people comprising local government, NGOs and private companies on Friday launched a movement to collectively take action to address serious waste problems in Bali.

They established the Bali Clean and Green Multi-Stakeholder Group, involving some 140 entities aimed at bringing together all societal sectors for creating practical solutions to face environmental problems — beginning with waste management.

The forum is a networking strategy for stakeholders to align their resources in addressing waste management issues identified during the Bali Green Province Road map forum, facilitating information exchange, sharing of resources and brainstorming collaborative action plans.

“Stakeholders need to work together, build synergies with the local government’s program to achieve ‘Bali Clean and Green’ and ‘Free the Island from Plastic Garbage by 2013’,” said Bali NGO Fokus advocate Yuyun Ismawati.

“We will hold additional discussions to evaluate how the road map has been implemented so far to make an action plan and to share how each stakeholder can further contribute to implementing the road map.”

Waste is a serious problem for Bali, which mainly relies on the tourism sector.

Under the headline “Holidays in Hell: Bali’s Ongoing Woes” on April 1, 2011, Time magazine depicted Bali as a resort island overwhelmed by environmental problems, including uncollected rubbish, overflowing sewage plants and rivers that flush trash into the sea at its most famous beaches.

Bali authorities are facing formidable problems in providing space for massive household and industrial waste — a threat to the island’s charms as one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations.

The island produces over 10,000 cubic meters of trash every day, and 75 percent is left uncollected on roadsides, rivers and at illegal dumps, creating health and environmental problems to the surrounding areas and communities. On the days of major religious celebrations, the volume of garbage could double.

The 44-hectare Suwung area, the island’s largest landfill area, would not be able to process more trash.

Multi-Stakeholder Group coordinator Steve Palmer said that the group would focus, among others, on household compost.

“If every household can make compost from their daily organic waste, that would be a great contribution. They can use it for their plants or give it to the farmers to be used as organic fertilizer.”

He said the group would prioritize the compost awareness campaign in villages while discussing suitable methods for compost in Bali’s urban areas.

He said one of the most serious problems was that most organic waste left unprocessed in dump sites, especially in Suwung, could be dangerous, because it could contaminate water in surrounding areas.

The government of Bali has published the Bali Green Province Roadmap in February to outline some of the actions that must be taken and to call for participation of all sectors of society to realize the “Clean and Green” mission to become the first green province in Indonesia.

Governor Made Mangku Pastika said the joint movement was a huge step to contribute to the implementation of the road map.

“Everybody can contribute to achieving ‘Bali Clean and Green’. Even reducing the use of one plastic bag per day could make a difference,” he said.

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