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Protests in Bandung against plan for multiple incinerators, Indonesia

The government in Indonesia has planned the construction of incinerators in 7 cities, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling against this construction. National environmental NGOs and residents in Bandung urge the government to stop the projects.


A nationwide conflict in Indonesia about the construction of incinerators has been ongoing for over a decade. Despite the Supreme Court ruling against the construction of incinerators, the Indonesian government is currently planning the construction of multiple incinerators in 7 different cities; Jakarta, Tangerang, Bandung, Surakarta, Surabaya, Makassar and Semarang [1][11]. With a growing problem of urban waste management in Indonesia’s major cities, and with landfills reaching their capacity, the Indonesian government has tried to accelerate the construction of incinerators. National environmental organizations, local residents and activists, especially in the city of Bandung, are responding and resisting to this process, arguing that the government’s promotions threaten the right to environmental health [3]. Besides the potential environmental dangers, the construction of incinerators in Bandung and other cities in Indonesia will have fatal consequences for the 'Pemulung' or wastepickers in the country. An estimated 2 million wastepickers in Indonesia engage in collecting and recycling plastics, metal and cardbord and they play a crucial role in municipal solid waste management where they contribute to a large trade in recycling of waste products [10]. If the incinerators in Bandung get constructed, the livelihoods of the wastepickers in the city are at risk, as they will lose access to their source of income, yet they have not been consulted in any decision-making of the waste management.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Protests in Bandung against plan for multiple incinerators, Indonesia
State or province:West Java
Location of conflict:Bandung
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Each of the five waste-to-fuel plants to be built in West Java is expected to process 70 tons of low-grade plastic waste per day and convert it to fuel. For every ton of plastic waste the plant can make 860 liters of fuel, comprising 80 percent diesel and 20 percent naphtha.

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project200,000,000
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:12/05/2007
Company names or state enterprises:Plastic Energy Ltd. from United Kingdom
Relevant government actors:Supreme Court
Indonesian Government
Bandung Administration
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Indonesian branch of Friends of the Earth (Walhi):
Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL):
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA):
Bali Fokus
Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (Ecoton)
Greenpeace Indonesia
Gita Pertiwi
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Wastepickers, recyclers
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Air pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Land dispossession, Loss of livelihood, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite of the court rule the first incinerator in Jakarta is under construction. The rest are planned to be constructed.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[2] The Presidential Decree No. 18 of 2016
[click to view]

[9] Press release on demands from civil society for a judicial review on the presidential decree on waste incinerator acceleration
[click to view]

[1] Government urged to stop waste-to-energy projects
[click to view]

[3] Civil Society Petition demands a Judicial Review into Presidential Decree
[click to view]

[4] Zero Waste for Zero Warming may get you arrested in Indonesia
[click to view]

[5] Activists protest deportation from Indonesia
[click to view]

[6] Activists stage protest against incinerators in Bandung
[click to view]

[7] Environmentalists urge Bandung mayor to stop incinerator project
[click to view]

[8] British Company to invest 200m in West Java incinerators
[click to view]

[11] Jakarta Incinerator project expected to start this year
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, Intern team 2019 (NC)
Last update29/05/2019
Conflict ID:4131
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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