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Partnering with Bali’s Capital to Transform Waste Management and Create a Clean and Thriving Future

With a majority of communities in Indonesia having no access to formal waste management, it should be no surprise that trash ends up in the environment – on our beautiful beaches, in our rivers and in the ocean. Like many others, we find ourselves in the midst of a waste crisis.

When I joined Delterra’s Rethinking Recycling Indonesia program earlier this year, I joined a passionate team led by a vision to enable thousands of community-owned, sustainable waste collection and recycling programs across Indonesia, bringing effective and affordable waste management to millions. What a motivating ambition to get behind!

But transforming waste management is no easy task, and partnerships are key to making it happen. That is why it was such a pleasure and an honor for me to establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of Delterra with the city of Denpasar on July 14th.

[From left to right: Wayan Temaja, Head of BUMDes (village-owned enterprise of Kesiman Kertalangu); Putu Siladarma, Ops Manager Sanur Kauh; Ida Bagus Putra Wirabawa, Head of Department of Environment Denpasar; Vidia Paramita, Senior Project Lead, Delterra; I Made Dwi Arbani, Head of Waste Management Division, DKLH Bali]

The goal of this agreement is to strengthen the ongoing partnership between the city and Delterra in six villages in Denpasar, covering 80,000 people. This is a key partnership with a massive capacity to defend the environment and improve the lives of residents. Our shared objective is to divert more waste from landfills and the environment, while recycling materials back into productive use.

This agreement represents the commitment between the Denpasar municipality, specifically the Department of Environment and Hygiene (DLHK), and Delterra to continue the good work and scale the Rethinking Recycling program through institutional change, behavioral change, and operational efficiency in waste management.

[From left to right: Vidia Paramita, Senior Project Lead, Delterra; Esther Carter, Program Manager, Delterra; Dhia Fani, Senior Project Lead, Delterra; Ida Bagus Putra Wirabawa, Head of Department of Environment Denpasar; Eko Supriadi, Head of Regional Council, Economy & Development Division]

The Head of DLHK expressed enthusiasm, saying, “Going forward, this collaboration is expected to have a positive impact in increasing public understanding and awareness of the importance of waste management based on source-separation and recycling.”

The signing ceremony was complemented by a panel discussion, which gave the floor to my Delterra colleagues, DLHK officials, and six participating villages to share success stories and lessons learned throughout the implementation of the Rethinking Recycling program.

[From left to right: Riandy Arya, Ops Manager Ubung Kaja; Wayan Temaja, Head of BUMDes (village-owned enterprise of Kesiman Kertalangu; Gusti Ngurah Budita, Head of MRF unit, DLHK Denpasar; Eka Cahyadi, Village Secretary Pemecutan Kaja; Dhia Fani, Senior Project Lead, Delterra]

Thanks to a broad network of partners, including Denpasar City Government, and the Bali Provincial Government, the program has already seen significant positive impact and Delterra was pleased to enable the participating villages to share their successes during this event.

We believe in a holistic approach that spans every step of the waste management system, from household collection through to processing and sorting. This includes support for:

  • institutions: establishing solid waste management entities, ensuring sustainable business models, and strengthening waste-sorting and operational regulations
  • education: assisting waste-sorting education, providing sorting infrastructure, and monitoring participation rate in waste-sorting
  • operations: designing segregated and scheduled transportation, assisting in providing collection and processing infrastructure and designing efficient layouts and flows
  • digital capacity: designing and implementing digital tools for customers, recording fees, collecting processed waste data, and automated chat services for education on source separation.

I have seen first-hand how this holistic approach can have concrete and sustainable impacts on the ground. At Delterra, we currently operate recycling and waste management programs in Argentina and Indonesia, where we have seen up to 70 percent recycling participation rates –more than most U.S. cities – as well as improved livelihoods for more than 450 waste workers in just the past three years!

And we’re just getting started. We have exciting plans to expand and scale our work to more countries in the Global South in the coming years, so stay tuned! Or better yet – join us! Please reach out if you would like to support this work or get involved in some way. We would love to hear from you!

This blog was written and contributed by:

Vidia Paramita
Senior Project Lead
Delterra
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[From left to right: Vidia Paramita, Senior Project Lead, Delterra; Mudana, Coordinator Waste Management, Pemogan; Eka Cahyadi, Village Secretary, Pemecutan Kaja; Wayan Temaja, Head of BUMDes (village-owned enterprise of Kesiman Kertalangu); Eko Supriadi, Head of Regional Council, Economy & Development Division; Ida Bagus Putra Wirabawa, Head of Department of Environment Denpasar; Made Dwi Arbani, Head of Waste Management Division, DKLH Bali; Putu Siladarma, Ops Manager Sanur Kauh; Riandy Arya, Ops Manager Ubung Kaja; Ketut Dirga, Inspectorate of Denpasar]