Collecting and dealing of recyclables in a final disposal site and surrounding slum residence: the case of Bantar Gebang, Indonesia

Shunsuke Sasaki, Kohei Watanabe, Niluh Widyaningsih, Tetsuya Araki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Rapid increase of waste generation coinciding with economic growth is one of the most important social issues in developing countries. Informal recyclers have been seen as important actors to improve the waste management in developing countries by donors and researchers. The objective of this work is to describe the on-site informal recycling system in the slum of Bantar Gebang in Indonesia. Fieldwork for both qualitative and quantitative research was conducted 24 times for totally 808 days during February 2010–January 2018. Eight social relationships and six modes of labor were identified in the site. Waste pickers collected and transacted recyclables using at least 13 tools. Two types of recyclable markets were developed: major market of massively collectable recyclables with low unit price, and niche market of rarely collectable ones with high unit price. On-site informal recycling system has at least 5 important components in Bantar Gebang: (1) social relations, (2) modes of labor, (3) suppliers of tools, (4) both major and niche markets, and (5) the interface between the informal and formal recycling systems. When implementing the integrated waste management, it would be most effective if the existing informal recycling system could be utilized to the largest extent possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-393
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Material Cycles and Waste Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 15



  • Final disposal site
  • Indonesia
  • On-site informal recycling
  • Slum residence
  • Waste picker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanics of Materials

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