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When Best Intentions Get Trashed

Bali's Capital City Trash Collection Fails to Meet Recycling Targets Due to a Lack of Equipment.

(5/21/2011) Efforts to separate organic and non-organic trash by the Denpasar Department of Public Hygiene and Parks (DKP) are proving futile, according to NusaBali. Apparently, when piles of carefully segregated organic and non-organic trash are picked up by the City's garbage trucks, workers merely toss the separated refuse into common piles in the back of the garbage trucks.

I Ketut Suwandhi, the former vice-chairman of the Denpasar House of Representatives (DPRD-Denpasar), said, "so the program of dividing organic and non-organic waste is not being maximized because the moment the trash is picked up, the sanitary workers merely remix them again."

This lack of follow-through makes a mockery of the organic and non-organic trash bins installed at the Puputan field, the Denpasar municipal offices and other locations. This situation is the result of inadequate facilities on the garbage trucks used by the City. Added Suwandhi, "actually, the armada (of trucks) is adequate, but the supporting facilities are inadequate."

When the head of the garbage collection division, Anom Sayoga, was contacted by telephone he admitted that no separate armada of trucks exists for organic and non-organic trash. "But this is our plan for the future," Sayoga added.

At the present time there are 1,400 employees in the city's trash and cleaning service comprised of street sweepers, trash collectors, lighting officers and gardeners.

Denpasar's armada of functioning garbage trucks stands at 35 units out of a total fleet of 45 trucks. Sayoga said the ideal number of operating garbage trucks for Denpasar would be 76 units.

In a related area of public sanitation, Suwandhi called for a critical review of those assigned to street sweeping. "We don't need so many (people), what's important is that they must be effective in their work."