Surabaya City, the regional capital and the second largest city in Indonesia with three million inhabitants, has successfully achieved 10% waste reduction in 3 years (200t/d waste reduction; 1,500-1,600t/d of waste in 2005 to 1,300t/d in 2007). The achievement was made through 1) distribution of 17,000 units of household compost baskets, 2) setting up of 13 compost centres, 3) organising over 28,000 community Environmental Cadres (leaders) under PKK (homemakers’ organisation) and other NGOs, and 4) promoting community-based SWM through “Green & Clean Campaign” with private funds. A key feature of Surabaya’s success is multi-stakeholder engagement through active involvement of community groups, NGOs and private companies in waste management. It was found that out of 200t/d total waste reduction, only 80t/d derives from composting at composting centres and each household and the rest comes from others; which implies promotion of waste segregation, especially the organic waste, induces further waste reduction of inorganic waste through reusing and recycling. The multiplier effect is estimated at more than 150%.
Household compost baskets developed in Surabaya have already been copied and spread through NGO networks and are widely being used in 39 cities in Indonesia. This phenomenon implies potential adoptability of the practice in many other cities. The features of composting methods developed in Surabaya, which is low-cost, low-tech and using only local materials, are an advantage for easier replication. Existence of PKK network in every Indonesian city, which played vital roles to coordinate various stakeholders and implement, monitor and evaluate the project at a community level in Surabaya, is another advantage for the replication.
However, compared to the spread of household compost baskets, setting up of compost centres has not be realised in other cities except Denpasar and Tarakan, which implies supports from local governments were not successfully arranged in many other cities. In other words, engaging and obtaining financial and political support from local governments are essential for setting up compost centres which require larger investment and also have larger impact in waste reduction.
In general, other local governments are interested in Surabaya’s success and intend to replicate similar practices as most cities have common persistent waste problem and reduction of waste management cost and prolonging final disposal sites’ lifespan are one of the priority issues. Positive responses expressed by participating cities during the Kitakyushu Initiative Workshop on Community-based Solid Waste Management and Supporting National Policies held in Surabaya on 27-28 August 2008 underscore the demand for such initiatives.
There are certainly strong demands from local governments as well as from the central government to reduce the total amount of waste as seen in the recently enacted Municipal Solid Waste Management Act. In order to implement the Act in actual terms in each city, replicating Surabaya’s achievement is a pragmatic approach as it has already been proved successful. However, in order to spread the practice more, setting up of some overarching mechanism is required as replication does not happen automatically as seen so far. For that reason, it is proposed to set up a national project team which develops a national programme for promotion of community-based solid waste management and monitors, supervises and provides necessary supports for actual implementation.