Indonesia has experienced a devastating tragedy caused by poor waste management. The 2005 landslide in the Leuwigajah final disposal site (TPA) in Cimahi, West Java, claimed 157 lives and wiped out two villages. This catastrophic even marked National Waste Awareness Day, is commemorated annually on February 21 to raise awareness about proper waste management practices and to prevent similar incidents from occurring.
This tragedy, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. Indonesia generates millions of tonnes of waste daily, making it one of the largest waste-producing countries globally. The country also has the highest municipal waste in Southeast Asia, creating a pressing problem that affects public health, the environment, and the economy.
But amidst this crisis lies an opportunity. Entrepreneurs and innovators can create sustainable solutions that can transform waste management practices in Indonesia. Climate-tech startups like Rekosistem lead the way by providing waste management and recycling services to improve waste management. Ernest Layman, the CEO and Co-Founder of Rekosistem, shares his overviews on waste management, solution approaches, and how to start a climate-tech business.
Ernest and his college friend Joshua Valentino saw the potential to turn waste into treasure. In November 2018, they started their business as an MSME waste-to-energy named KAHIJI, a renewable energy generating business powered by organic waste. Their vision further developed in 2021, when they launched Rekosistem to enable people to lead more environmentally sustainable lifestyles by making waste recycling more accessible in Indonesia.
Rekosistem’s innovative solutions are revolutionizing the waste management industry. They offer waste management and recycling services through their Repickup service, which collects trash and deposits it at the nearby Reko Waste Station, their drop point location. All of the collected waste will be managed in the Reko Waste Hub, a material recovery facility where mixed waste is sorted into approximately 50 categories so that the right type of waste can be processed in the right waste recycling facilities. With over 5,500 tons of waste successfully processed, Rekosistem has served over 20,000 homes and 100 businesses around the hub. They also help their waste workers’ ecosystem to spend less and gain more by standardizing the operations and improving their recycling rate, so no more recyclables are wasted.
Rekosistem is making a significant impact on waste management practices in Indonesia. They have successfully collaborated with the government, companies, and neighborhood/community units (RT/RW) to manage waste sustainably. Their strategic partnership with the DKI Jakarta Environmental Agency is a testament to their commitment to creating a cleaner, healthier environment for all.
Read the full insights at East Ventures.