The condition of the rivers in Indonesia, especially in large cities, is largely alarming due to pollution and garbage, especially plastic.
Based on data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry there are more than 200 thousand tons of plastic waste entering the oceans originating from rivers throughout Indonesia.
Indonesia is also still one of the largest contributors to plastic waste in the world with 8 million tons of plastic waste entering marine origin from Indonesia.
Therefore it is urgent that a technological breakthrough is needed that can alleviate this problem.
One step forward has been done, the River Clean up System (RCS) technology research collaboration between the Government of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands was immediately applied to clean rivers in Indonesia from garbage, especially plastic waste.
As an initial step, the RCS was launched in Cengkareng Drain, Kapuk Muara Village, North Jakarta, Monday (05/13/2019).
The use of this RCS tool at the initial stage will be used to clean 14 rivers in DKI Jakarta.
The target is that the end of this year will soon be implemented in areas that experience pollution of heavy plastic waste such as DKI Jakarta and Bali.
“I have coordinated with the Minister of LHK that there are 14 rivers in Jakarta, we will later install each RCS tool in this river, later in the bay with the Deputy Governor of DKI Jakarta, we may deploy some and it will help clear plastic waste into the sea, “Said Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Coordinating Minister (Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs) after the inauguration.
The Minister of Environment and Forestry (LHK), Siti Nurbaya, added that if the RCS tool is technology from the Netherlands, therefore an important first step is KLHK will coordinate with the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) for technology adoption and mass production in Indonesia.
“The important thing is to research first if the tools from the Netherlands are not made by us, then BPPT will be careful,” said Minister Siti.
In addition to cleaning plastic waste from the river, the Government is also thinking about the concept of processing the collected waste
With a circular economy approach, it is hoped that efforts to clean plastic waste can have a greater multiplier effect on the economy of the community.
“Staying after the garbage is taken, collecting it must be made a good mechanism and then it will be taken to the waste sorting site and we will try to turn the circular economy.”
“I saw earlier that the type of waste can still be processed for the circular economy,” explained Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut.
RCS is one of the systems built with the main purpose of making oceans free of plastic.
This RCS will extract plastic waste that flows in the river, holds it in large bags through a conveyor belt, is carried to the banks of the river to be transported to temporary shelters to be sorted and recycled so that the amount of waste transported to the landfill is reduced.
The entire RCS system is powered by solar electric power installed on the RCS roof. There are 14teen large bags to hold garbage.
The contents of the bag and its replacement rotation depend on the flow of the river, speed, amount of waste and its type.
The assumption, for now, is this once a day. But in the future, it may be more frequent if needed.
In the first two months, the RCS system will operate a maximum of eight hours a day (with expert assistance on-site).
After training all operators, the system can increase the operating time up to 16 and 24 hours per day.
This RCS tool is known to cost per unit for 200-300 thousand Euros or around Rp5 billion.
The cleaning capacity of garbage from this tool reaches 10 tons per hectare so that if one day is divided into three shifts, in one day it can clean up as much as 30 tons of waste for each unit.
This pilot project aims to prove the performance of RCS (extracting waste and plastic from rivers and how waste management works to be able to sort plastic from other wastes so that it can be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
It is hoped that this pilot project will produce actual data on waste from the river, and obtain integrated waste management solutions.
The cooperation in making this plastic garbage cleaning tool on the river is a form of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between KLHK and the Kingdom of the Netherlands which was signed in 2016.
With the presence of this RCS tool, it is expected that the government’s target to reduce 70 percent of plastic waste in the oceans by 2025 can be more easily achieved.
The collaboration between the Indonesian Government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands will last 12 months from March 2019 to March 2020.
With this cooperation, it is expected that more data will be obtained to determine strategies related to reducing plastic waste in the Indonesian ocean.