As Indonesia's capital struggles with a mounting trash problem, one local man is taking matters into his own hands by recycling plastic waste into fuel for his scooter. Matthew Stock reports
Rubbish is a serious problem for Indonesia's capital. This landfill site on Jakarta's outskirts struggles to cope with over 6000 tonnes of waste it receives daily. The mountains of trash pose environmental and health risks, and some frustrated residents are taking matters into their own hands. Hamidi, a young entrepreneur, is turning waste plastic into fuel. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) LOCAL INVENTOR, HAMIDI SAYING: "Plastic originates from crude oil. What I'm doing here is reversing the process of plastic to its origin, which makes it become an energy that can support petroleum or fossil energy." Hamidi says he can recycle 25 kg (55 lb) of waste a day by burning plastic and distilling the resulting vapour into liquid fuel. So far he only uses it to fuel his own scooter, but wants help to increase production. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) LOCAL INVENTOR, HAMIDI SAYING: "At the very beginning I just wanted to start a business and produce fuel through a raw material that is easy to get. But throughout the process I learnt about the increasing trash problem in the environment. Then I thought this is a problem that needs to be resolved. Since all my previous experiements were successful, I decided to seek funding aid from the local government." At this waste-treatment facility, there are schemes in place to turn organic waste into fertilizer and recycled plastic. But it's a small step to dealing with a bigger problem. Greater Jakarta's 10 million residents generate enough rubbish to fill several football fields every day. But NGOs are now stepping in to manage waste and calling on local governments to help fund projects like Hamidi's.