Nestled between the Malaysian Peninsula and Borneo, the Anambas Archipelago is literally on the edge of Indonesia’s water.
Facing the wide-open seas, the Anambas Islands provide a panoramic view of blue seas with azure lagoons. Sadly though the Anambas is a huge waste contributor to the oceans in Indonesia when instead it could be a tropical paradise.
The initial visits to the villages highlighted that solid waste management, including plastic, urgently needed to be addressed. Many of the local communities were dumping waste into the ocean because of two factors: first, the lack of awareness about the importance of waste management and environmental preservation. Second, the absence of waste treatment facilities and infrastructure.
We first began Solid Waste Management (SWM) programme in 2018. The programme has evolved into a community-based Integrated Waste Management (IWM), with the addition of a key activity called waste upcycling. By using an integrated waste management approach, waste will be processed and turned into various products of higher value.
It is of utmost importance that we provide education to the local communities, including young children and their elders, on how to sort their waste into three compartment bins for different types of waste: organic, recyclable, and residue. The foundation also conducts different training for the local communities as a solution to the waste management problem and for them to generate a circular economy.
To increase communal participation in waste separation and improve its effectiveness, the foundation implements a waste bank scheme in Kiabu Village. We encourage Kiabu people to collect their waste, sort them based on categories at home and take them to our recycling centre in exchange for money.
ASIDE from that, we have also provided 300 garbage bins, 3 garbage carts, hundreds of garbage sacks, 3 weight scales, and dozens of safety equipment to the villages.
Upcycling waste produces different types of products, such as bricks made from mixed plastic and styrofoam, candles and soaps made from used cooking oil, and other upcycling craft products made from waste. All of the waste is processed at our Recycling Centre in Kiabu involving the local communities, especially the Women’s Groups. Products from waste upcycling are then sold to the masses, generating alternative income for the local communities.
This is only part of the solution and it is of utmost importance that we continuously educate the local communities, from youngest to the eldest, about waste management. So far, the programme has effectively increased awareness and changed the habits of the communities; women’s groups in villages now hold community clean-ups regularly and communities are more aware of the different types of waste and how to sort them.