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Jakarta Post

Google-backed Bali start-up tackles waste crisis with AI

  • Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 12, 2019   /  02:13 pm
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Plastics and other waste lie scattered among tree debris on Kuta Beach in Bali. Gringgo Indonesia Foundation is one local start-up that is using technology to "do good" in Denpasar, Bali.(The Jakarta Post/Zul Trio Anggono)

Unlike most local start-ups, Gringgo Indonesia Foundation targets neither consumers nor small and medium enterprises; instead, it targets the hundreds of informal trash collectors in Denpasar, Bali. The foundation was first established in late 2014 under the name CashForTrash, and then evolved into a tech start-up that coordinates city-wide waste collection through a mobile app. These informal trash collectors – who are mostly men – go from door to door gathering recyclable and reusable waste, earning about Rp 4 million (US$283) per month by charging a small collection fee and selling the recyclable waste to companies. The problem, explained Gringgo cofounder and president Febriadi Pratama, was that the trash collectors were uncoordinated and thus, inefficient in their waste collection. Their collection routes often overlapped, and they did not have the know-how to i...