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Green and clean initiative



Surabaya Green and Clean Initiative is a community-based waste management program implemented by the local government of the City of Surabaya. When in 2001 the Keputih Disposal Area, the only one to serve a city of about 3 millions inhabitants was closed, serious environmental problems emerged throughout the city. Therefore, since 2004 with the support of local NGO’s, the Surabaya Municipality started a community education program about waste management.


The substance of the education program included how to sort organic and non-organic waste, how to make use of waste – applying the principles of Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.


The community was actively involved in training course where they received a free composting basket. In 2005 the Surabaya City Government created several competitions to popularize and bring the program to wider level. The competition proved to be a success, turning Surabaya to one of the benchmarks in waste management in Indonesia. Within the competitions the participants received, as trophies, cash, tools to manage organic waste and trees. Additionally, the people agreed that each prices they won, will become the seed capital for their settlement improvement.


In the social perspective, the processes leads into a gradual forming of local organizations and thanks to the stimulation from private sectors i.e Unilever is growing bigger and faster. To further motivate people and to gain a broader participant, the City of Surabaya, supported by the partners, established several competitions related to community based livelihood enhancement such as ‘Cleanest District Award’, ‘Green and Clean Competition’, and ‘Free from Waste Competition’. Those were aimed to introduced the concept of ‘reward’ and ‘punishment’ on how to manage the living environment.


Surabaya’s achievement exemplifies how a city can reduce a large amount of waste in a few years by primarily targeting organic waste, which usually makes up more than half the amount of municipal solid waste, and mobilising internal resources, mostly its residents, community groups, NGOs and private companies.


Surabaya’s solid waste management model has been transferred to other cities in various ways since it became well-recognised nationally and internationally. For instance, Jakarta was the second city which held the similar competition, following by the city of Jogjakarta. Also in other countries as Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, and Philippines the program was implemented.