Like many Indonesian islands, Gili Gede suffers from pollution with plastic waste covering its pristine beaches and seas. Unfortunately, without a proper waste management system on Gili Gede: waste gets dumped on the island or burnt, which leads to severe health problems for local communities. The fish population has drastically reduced with fishermen picking up more plastic waste than fish. Currently, waste is being used to make eco-bricks and other souvenirs. The Gili Gede Restoration Project, with the support of the Indah Village Government and Khiri Reach, has established a waste collection system in January 2020.
Two garbage collectors were appointed with three public bins placed in strategic locations, with more to come. Khiri Reach supports the project by providing trash bags and gloves. While seeing the trash collected on a daily basis, reusable waste is recycled and non-reusable trash is transported to the main landfill on Lombok, near Kebon Konggok.
The Bank Sampah, or Waste Bank, in Pelangan has indicated plans to purchase a waste incinerator in order to dispose of non-recyclable waste in an environmentally-friendly manner.
After a few weeks, there is a visible change on the island. The village government has taken full ownership of the rubbish collection system with villagers’ feedback being positive so far. As the system is evaluated and fine-tuned on a regular basis, our goal is to have a functioning waste management system throughout Gili Gede, nurturing the island’s eco-system, and creating better living conditions for local communities.