Through their MADANI-supported activities, they have connected with the local communities and improved their legitimacy among key stakeholders.
The economy of Gresik revolves around industry, with several important businesses having factories in the region, including Indonesia’s largest cement producer, Gresik Portland Cement, and the largest fertilizer producer, Petrokimia Gresik. This industrial activity produces a lot of waste, and, compounding the problem, Gresik has faced issues in handling household waste management as well. With 78,840 tons of domestic waste produced in the district in 2022, the local government relies heavily on public landfills, which are quickly running out of space. The overfilling landfills can now only accommodate about 65 percent of the total garbage collected annually. The District Environment Agency struggles to manage the waste. Since 2010, the district has enacted three regulations to address the issue, with little impact.
Supported by MADANI, PATTIRO has responded to this issue by creating the JAMMILAH (Ajak Memilah dan Mengolah Sampah, or Call to Sort and Recycle Waste) movement, emphasizing a community-based approach to upstream waste management. The movement urges community participation to save landfill space, encouraging citizens to conserve valuable materials and embrace the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (3R) concept.
In 2020, PATTIRO facilitated the establishment of the multistakeholder GIRI Learning Forum (Gresik Iso Resik dan Inovatif, or Clean and Innovative Gresik), bringing together 27 local stakeholders from Gresik that share a commitment to help solve the district’s waste management issues. The GIRI Forum is comprised of other CSOs, district agencies, associations, and private companies, such as the large manufacturing company PT Cargill. Certain members of the forum – faith-based youth organization Fatayat Nahdlatul Ulama, a local labor association, and the Gresik Community for Diversity Forum –promoted the JAMMILAH movement to their members, a total of more than 15,000 people. PATTIRO representative Wenda Febrianti commented: “We are all united when it comes to solving the domestic waste issue despite our differences… Our community has responded positively to the movement.”
The JAMMILAH movement has had a significant impact, positively changing community and government perceptions and behaviors towards waste management. For example:
- In 2021, PT Cargill utilized corporate social responsibility funds to sponsor a waste management training where participating households learned about segregating organic and non-organic waste, as well as sorting dry materials for recycling.
- In one village in Gresik district, the Government of Indonesia’s Family Welfare Movement (PKK) educated its members in how to sort household waste, and about the business potential behind trash collection. These PKK members then shared their skills with other non-member residents, and reached out to other locations, including the elementary and middle schools in the surrounding area.
- PATTIRO and the GIRI Learning Forum trained members of the community’s Youth Development Association (Karang Taruna), as well as Nahdlatul Ulama youth organization, on good practices in managing local waste collection and recycling facilities, and how to optimize waste banks in their neighborhood.
- In the village of Balongpanggang, one neighborhood now collects 600 to 700 kilograms of recycled materials per month, worth approximately 1.3 million rupiah (us$80). although this is a relatively small sum of money, it is a 50 percent increase compared to before the JAMMILAH movement came to their area.
The GIRI Learning Forum’s advocacy has received the support of the Gresik District Government, which has allocated plots of land in two villages for a local waste collection and recycling facility, as well as a waste bank – all run by the community. These locations serve as local collection points for recycling and as training centers. During one site visit, Diah Larasayu, a representative from the East Java Provincial Environment Agency, commented that they would like to replicate the best practices from the JAMMILAH movement to other regions in the province.
This advocacy has also resulted in the enactment of several government decrees (Surat Edaran Bupati). The district issued two decrees in October 2022 on waste reduction and village-level waste management; in January 2023, they issued a decree on waste management for public events.
Members of the GIRI Learning Forum, through their participation in the JAMMILAH movement, support other environmental programs as well, such as the global Zero-Waste City initiative, in which Gresik is participating. The GIRI Learning Forum members also train cadres and promote the JAMMILAH movement to other populations. For example, they are working with the community on nearby Bawean Island, where a District Environment Agency-led waste management initiative is underway to replicate JAMMILAH’s activities there with district government funding.
The JAMMILAH movement is a milestone for local collaboration in Gresik, and it illustrates how CSOs can work with companies, the local government, and communities to overcome development challenges. The advocacy work of MADANI’s CSO partner went beyond changing citizens’ opinions and behaviors, to strengthening the enabling environment for the continuation and expansion of this local waste management solution in the future.