Throwing out new ideas

Tacking the plastic pollution and waste management problem in Indonesia

CLEAR Communities is a charity based in Indonesia offering community-led approaches to tackling issues mounted by waste pollution and environmental degradation. Seeking a longer-term solution, Chani Leahong, CLEAR’s founder, created a design competition looking for radical solutions to deliver essential waste management infrastructure in Batukaras, Indonesia. One of the key outcomes of the project will be an exemplar waste management facility, which will hopefully be replicated and rolled out in other areas of Indonesia.

Funding for the design stage of this project was secured by CLEAR from the International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP), which is overseen by the Royal Academy of Engineering. CLEAR brought together professionals from London South Bank University (LSBU), Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Atelier Ten and Mantra, a local waste management company, bringing together technical expertise from across a range of fields.

Tilly Ford, from Atelier Ten’s London office, supported and assisted throughout the design competition. Gathering inputs from technical experts at LSBU, ITB and Mantra, Tilly helped write the competition briefing document. Tilly also fed into the brief from her own expertise as a sustainable design consultant. To share knowledge across borders and facilities ties, teams with a mix of students from both LSBU in the UK and ITB in Indonesia were created.

Atelier Ten chaired workshops in both countries, speaking to the student teams on sustainable design alongside LSBU and ITB lecturers from other fields. In addition to running the workshops, Tilly also attended a site visit in Batukaras, Indonesia, where land has been set aside for the first waste collection and sorting facilities.

Students submitted proposals for how local waste would be collected, sorted, treated, reused and ultimately removed from the local village. Tilly participated in marking the submissions, and an exhibition of all the design proposals will be held in Batukaras, with presentations to regional and local government leaders. Consultations and community engagement programs will seek to gain further support and secure funding to build the winning design proposals.