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The Transformative Impact of an Inclusive, Community-Driven Approach to Waste Management

The global population is producing more and more waste every year. According to the 2024 Global Waste Management Outlook, humans are on track to produce 3.8 billion tonnes of waste per year by 2050. In many parts of the world, including the regions where CLOCC works, much of this waste is leaked into the environment. Without urgent action, this will have serious implications on human health, the planet’s health, and the global economy. 

The CLOCC Approach

Despite these daunting facts, CLOCC is on a mission to demonstrate the solutions and pathways to circularity and integrated sustainable waste management that can mitigate the potential consequences. CLOCC's approach is a long-term one, with a view towards lasting change. The initiative intends to address systems-level changes, rather than isolated consequences of inadequate waste management. This means thinking about changes on the policy-level, education and awareness of waste, and redesigning processes from the understanding the waste composition, through to collection, sorting, recycling, and sanitary disposal/valorisation. 

To truly address this global challenge, the focus needs to be local, inclusive, and driven by a cross-section of all those who have a stake in the waste management system. We work with local implementation partners to conduct training and capacity building, after securing strong buy-in from local stakeholders, a waste management master plan can be drafted.

This is all under the structure and guidelines of the Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM) planning approach, with the priorities of the waste hierarchy in mind. This approach considers the physical requirements of a waste management system, as well as the societal needs, economic feasibility, policy requirements, and puts stakeholder inclusion at the heart of the process. 

Waste Sampling in Banyuwangi

The Power of Community Engagement 

Banyuwangi in East Java, Indonesia is one such area where vast amounts of preventable leakage are causing serious harm to the oceans and land. Banyuwangi is the largest regency in East Java and home to almost 2 million people with very limited formal waste collection, recovery, and disposal. According to CLOCC’s analysis, almost 80% of waste generated by residents is mismanaged and leaking into the environment (based on our 2021 study).  

Banyuwangi was the first region that CLOCC engaged with to develop a circular and integrated waste management master plan. With the support of The Indonesian Waste Management Association (InSWA) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), we engaged with a cross section of local groups with a stake in waste management. They participated in a series of trainings with internationally renowned experts, capacity building initiatives, as well as site visits to local facilities. 

This stakeholder mobilization was critical in drafting the first Waste Management Masterplan that was opened to consultation amongst stakeholders in mid-2023. But that is just the beginning of the journey. 


Implementing for Future Generations 

Phase Three of the programme is the most enduring. The implementation of the waste masterplans will take time – there is no quick fix, and it will likely take up to twenty years to reach maturity. But there is every chance of success with a long-term, implementable strategy backed up by good governance.

CLOCC will continue to observe and support going forward to ensure local ownership, which means the buy-in of governments (local and national), business, and civil society. All three of these groups need to be invested and have a stake. We will continue our collaboration with these stakeholders to ensure the success and implementation of sustainable waste management practices. 

Banyuwangi is just the beginning. As we see more and more buy-in from the various stakeholders, we can confidently expand the programme to different regions and have already begun with the preparatory stages of the programme in Tabanan (Bali, Indonesia), and Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu, India). The core principles behind CLOCC are replicable and if we scale them up sufficiently, can have a major impact in preventing leakage in our environment as economies and populations grow at unprecedented rates.


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