Mon, 17 Sep 2001

City to move dumping site

JAKARTA (JP): An official said Saturday City Hall will not only dispose of garbage at dumping sites outside of the city but will process it instead into organic fertilizer.

City Sanitary Agency Head Saksono Husodo said the step was taken following Tangerang's opposition to its plan to develop a 100-hectare land site in Ciangir, Tangerang, as a replacement for the Bantar Gebang garbage dumping site in Bekasi.

Tangerang councillors feared that the area around the dump would be contaminated as has happened in Bantar Gebang.

Bekasi councillors have repeatedly asked Jakarta to close the 65-hectare dumping site since it has caused environmental damage. Jakarta has decided to close the dump in 2003 according to its permit although it could be extended until 2006.

Following Tangerang councillors' refusal of the Ciangir plan, the Jakarta administration set up an operation with the private firm PT Bio Fertilizer Indonesia to process the garbage into organic fertilizer.

Saksono said that the city had signed a memorandum of understanding with the company to build a garbage processing plant in Duri Kosambi, West Jakarta, with an estimated investment value of Rp 52 billion (US$6.12 million).

He said the city, which produces about 5,000 tons of garbage a day, will get extra income from the fertilizer produced by the processing plant.

Separately councillor Tjuk Sudono of the City Council's Commission D for development affairs questioned City Hall's seriousness in processing the garbage.

"The MOU was signed two months ago but there is still no sign that the administration would build the plant," Tjuk of the National Mandate Party said.

He thinks that the agency was reluctant to build the plant because it might loose its routine budget.

"Since the plant will make a profit, the sanitary agency is worried that its budget will be reduced," he said.

The agency spends more than Rp 90 billion a year to handle the city's garbage. (jun)