The Jakarta Post
Local authorities in Bali have collected an estimated 18 tons of garbage, consisting mostly of plastic waste and tree branches washed ashore, during a three-day coastal cleanup effort at the famous Kuta Beach in Badung regency.
Officials from the Badung Environmental Agency started collecting the trash on Sunday. The agency estimated that at least six tons of garbage had been collected on each day of the operation. The trash was transported on three trucks.
“We carried out [the clean-up efforts] starting on Sunday afternoon. This is a routine process that we have carried out for a long time,” said Gede Dwipayana, the agency’s fast response unit coordinator, as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
Dwipayana explained that the trash flowed down rivers throughout the regency into the ocean. Much of the trash had been washed downstream in the increased precipitation of the rainy season.
Bali is one of dozens of islands in the archipelago grappling with the problem of marine and coastal litter.
Research by the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s Environmental Pollution and Damage Control Directorate General in 2017 estimated that ocean trash throughout Indonesia totaled 1.2 million tons and consisted mostly of plastic (31 percent) and wood (30 percent).
Although it is difficult to trace the origins of the trash on Bali’s beaches, analysts estimate that up to 80 percent comes from the island itself, as garbage collected by informal workers at hotels and villages is reportedly often dumped in rivers that carry the waste to sea and onto the island’s beaches.
Dwipayana predicted that the volume of trash on the beach would increase over the next few months due to the rainy season, which typically lasts until April.
In anticipation of more garbage piling up, Dwipayana said that the agency had prepared a 12-person team to lead cleanup efforts at some of the island’s coastal areas, including Kuta Beach, Legian and Seminyak.
He said that the garbage collected from Kuta Beach would be taken to a temporary dumping site in Tuban. (dpk)