The story of trash and waste management in Greater Jakarta can be overwhelming, and we tend to focus it on the most insidious and obvious – plastic waste. There is good reason to do so when we look at the chain reaction this causes right through the river systems and into ocean ecology. But solutions to every problem no matter how big must start somewhere. When we look at the giant landfills, for example – 7 of them in greater Jakarta taking a combined 14,000 tons of waste a day (Jakarta Post 06/06/20), it is staggering. It is unsustainable, and it is not easy to manage. But what if we look at it in sections, address it like a business and separate the kinds of waste we are collecting together into a huge pile. What if we took the green wast out and processed it naturally so that it could become a benefit instead of a hindrance.
A lot of people don’t realise that every 1 KG of green waste added to landfill produces nearly 2KG of Co2 and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Green waste is anything organic that breaks down, and landfill is an anaerobic environment (no oxygen) because green waste compresses.
If we process the same 1KG of green waste with oxygen, we are creating new industries, jobs and viable solutions for waste. Biogas can be produced from it too, which if converted, can generate electricity and other forms of energy. How do we do this?
Following the COVID virus, estimates suggest that waste issues, especially plastics, will get worse [Jakarta Post 06/06/2020]. It is much easier to manage waste and recycle if we separate it. Separating organic waste and using it for something useful is a big start. And the best way to do this is never to let green waste be waste in the first place – separate it straight away and process it straight away. What are we proposing – that everyone is responsible for managing the waste problem and not just the government?
[note: leaving plastic waste management for a different discussion]
At 5yesFarm, we have been doing small scale experiments with processing green-waste and seeing results. Fermenting (Bakasi) and making liquid composts and feeding green waste to the worms and the Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSF).
These insects, in turn, become high protein additives for the freshwater organic fish we raise and the free-range ducks and chickens we raise. It is not a massive production, but it is scalable. We call it the Great Green Waste Challenge.
It started with the green waste we have here on the farm – offcuts from the kitchen, from the harvesting and trees and plants. We realised that we didn’t have enough green waste for everything we needed. We are considering ratios when we raise organic free-range animals. We make their food from natural ingredients, and it is a big job collecting the right ingredients. These ingredients rely more on naturally processed green waste now, so we need more of it. We can only have so many fish, chickens and ducks based on what we can feed them.
Because we are committed to organic, to natural farming processes, we take it slowly but surely.
We can expand this process by multiplication. Many small scale green waste processing projects will:
reduce greenhouse gasses
create potential job opportunities
result in healthy protein for feeding animals.
develop healthy compost that is natural and organic