Circular economy to minimize waste challenges in Indonesia


Start date: 1 October, 2021 End date: 30 September, 2024 Project type: Research projects in countries with targeted development cooperation (earlier Window 2) Project code: 20-M11SDU Countries: Indonesia Thematic areas: Waste management, Lead institution: University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Denmark Partner institutions: University of Muhammadiyah Magelang (UNIMMA), Indonesia The State Islamic University and Center for Southeast Asian Studies (IN/CASES), Indonesia Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Indonesia Universitas Dian Nuswantoro (UDINUS), Indonesia Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Kannan Govindan Total grant: 4,999,715 DKK

Project summary

Indonesia presents a complex household solid waste management challenge; its cities generate 105,000 tons of solid waste daily. Further, tons of waste end up in the ocean, making the nation a major contributor to plastic pollution. Recent research studies show that effective municipal solid waste management services have still not been implemented in Indonesia.

To increase sustainability the principle of Circular Economy (CE) is needed. CE will ensure that waste material is fed back into consumption processes, closing the loop by generating new products or energy. This project, IndoCircularWaste, will link value chain actors (municipalities, waste banks, households, recycling facilities, industries) building on three key drivers: (1) Digitalization of waste handling value chain from collection to recycling; (2) Improving waste management policies for separation of waste already at the source; and (3) Increasing extended producer responsibility.

• Digitalization of the waste handling chain will increase trust, transparency, and coordination among partners. Further, it will incentivize private companies to expand waste management businesses.
• Improved waste management policies are needed; a major reason behind the nation’s challenge is improper separation of solid waste components.
• Multinational companies have begun engaging in waste recovery programs based on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and increasing EPR is a vital element of our CE business model.

Our hypothesis claims that these three key drivers will strengthen the recycling efficiency of our novel proposed CE business model. The project is organized into three linked pilot studies, each devoted to one key driver. Knowledge resulting from the three pilot studies will be integrated into the design of our CE business model to increase the reuse of material and energy resources from waste. We will also develop a model to evaluate the CE maturity level.


First year report
The project is progressing well in terms of the objective to develop a novel circular economy business model for municipal solid waste management in Indonesia. We are ahead of the planned outputs regarding publications, policy, prototype development, and patent application submission.

In terms of partnership and joint activities, we have finalized the partnership and conducted several joint activities such as focus group discussions, joint workshops, joint publications, and joint patent applications.

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