Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The Indonesian government should issue an investment guideline on waste management, according to a startup founder.
The lack of a guideline has become one of the challenges that businesses in the sector face when trying to invest in districts and municipalities.
Such a document can help give a better understanding for both the subnational government and potential investors, which are key to attracting investment in waste management, according to waste management startup Waste4Change founder and chief executive officer Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano.
"There are still many issues that we need to address in the waste management sector. The government in districts/municipalities today still do not know how to respond if a firm expresses interest in investing in their region's waste management," Junerosano said at the Waste4Change material recovery facility in Bekasi on Wednesday.
According to Junerosano, toll road construction is one of the sectors that already have clear guidelines, especially since it has a regulatory body.
"We need to learn from the Toll Road Regulatory Agency [BPJT]. Because the public-private partnerships [PPPs] are much clearer. There is still no guideline on investing in waste management in district/municipalities," Junerosano said.
Commenting on Waste4Change's demands, Moris Nuaimi, the director for infrastructure planning at the Investment Coordinating Board, said: "the regulations in the waste management sector are actually not as complex as those of drinking water facilities."
According to Moris, the government is still working on improving regulations on waste management investment.
"If Waste4Change can do this [project] with the existing regulations, why not replicate it to other municipalities/districts? This also shows that investors are still interested despite the existing regulations that still need improvement. And it could even be better in the future [once the regulations have improved]," he said.
The government data showed Indonesia generated 175,000 tons of waste a day, about 47.8 percent came from food waste.
Earlier in the day, Waste4Change launched an upgraded version of its material recovery facility in Bekasi. The facility has added new waste management technologies and a digital recording system.
The new technologies will boost the sorting quality by slashing the residue output from 65 percent to 10 percent. The facility's waste management capacity also jumps from 18 tons per day (tpd) to 22 tons tpd.
The addition of new technologies used parts of the raised funds that Waste4Change secured last year. In Oct. 2022, Waste4Change raised $5 million in a Series A funding round co-led by AC Ventures and Barito Mitra Investama.
Also on the same day, Waste4Change inked a memorandum of understanding worth Rp 250 billion (around $16.1 million) with Samudera Indonesia, Alam Bersih Indonesia, Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa, SinarMas Land, Basra Corporation, rePurpose Global, among others. The MoUs encompass investment and the development of a tech-based waste management system.