Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development

From ORganic WAste to Recycling for Development

Java - Indonesia

FORWARD is an applied research project that develops integrated strategies and technologies for the management of municipal organic solid waste in medium-sized cities of Indonesia.

The organic fraction constitutes the largest part of municipal solid waste and, unlike other fractions such as metal or paper, it is rarely recycled or valorised. It is, however, this fraction of waste that due to its decomposition results in considerable production of greenhouse gasses and is the source of hygienic and infrastructure problems, especially in densely populated and fast growing urban areas.

Organic waste contains nutrients and energy. These resources can be recovered using conversion technologies such as composting, anaerobic digestion, carbonisation or saprophagous insect larvae. Such waste treatment and conversion results in marketable products like compost, biogas, biochar or insect protein and, thus, represent strong potential business and employment opportunities.

FORWARD focuses on these waste valorisation opportunities by strengthening the 3R activities (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle) of organic waste, to divert this large waste fraction from landfills. Existing landfills have often reached maximum capacity with no alternative sites available. Where waste collection services exist, no suitable destinations are available and irregular dumping of waste is the result.

The project embeds innovative technological and managerial approaches to organic waste processing into the specific socio-economic situation of the project cities and will foster a business approach with public, private and/or community based components.

The applied research addresses the following themes in a phased manner:

(a) Strengthening informed decision-making concerning the organic waste management technologies and implementation strategies most suitable for small to medium-sized cities.

This includes developing and implementing a methodology for the structured analysis of the current “waste system”, the spatial waste supply, the market demand for waste conversion products, suitable logistic and business models, socio-economic feasibility and possible institutional settings.

(b) The design, implementation and experimental operation of pilot-scale technologies at a local market. This research-managed pilot facility acts as a test and showcase site and allows for training and capacity-building. The site  provides a nucleus for future self-sustainable integrated operations. The core technology of the pilot facility is the conversion of organic waste  from market and kitchen waste through the larvae of Black Soldier Fly for the production of protein-rich animal feed (fish and poultry). This innovative technology is complemented with composting. Anaerobic digestion and vermiculture are evaluated for their potential to also convert process side streams.

(c) Documentation and development of support materials and guidelines for dissemination in other Indonesian cities.

This ongoing project develops the research-managed pilot operation at the Puspa Agro wholesale market in Sidoarjo. This East Javanese Regency is a satellite area of metropolitan Surabaya.

FORWARD is an independent non-profit R&D project and is funded by SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, under a framework agreement with the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works & Housing (PU-PeRa). It works in close collaboration with local governmental authorities and with Indonesian researchers from several universities. FORWARD is coordinated by Eng. Bart Verstappen, based in Sidoarjo.