Thu, 11 Dec 2003

Govt criticized on waste management price

BATAM, Riau: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) here complained on Wednesday about the excessive cost charged by state-run Industrial Waste Management Installation based in Cilengsi, West Java, for the processing of poisonous chemical substances in Batam.

They argued that a similar company in neighboring Singapore could handle the work at a lower cost.

According to Aris Muryasani, coordinator of a Batam-based NGO concerned with environmental issues, BILIK, the Singapore company could process such substances at 50 percent of the cost charged by the Cilengsi-based installation.

"With such expensive prices that the factories have to pay to the government, many of them have become reluctant to officially report how much of the substances they produce each year.

"As an impact, these factories may depose of their substances elsewhere and, of course, it will have a negative impact on the environment," Aris told The Jakarta Post.

Companies in Indonesia produced about 4,800 tons of substances each year and have to pay the government US$120 for each 200 liters of substance.

"The price is too expensive compared to only about $60 for each 200 liters in Singapore," Aris said.

Aris said he asked the environment minister to establish a similar installation in Batam, but the minister dropped the suggestion, saying that companies in Batam "only produce about 27.8 percent of total substance nation wide." -- JP