MoE Regulation No. 13/2012 on Guideline for Implementation of 3R through Waste Banks

MoE Regulation No. 13/2012 on Guideline for Implementation of 3R through Waste Banks
Author: Avipsha Rayamajhi Date Created: 6/1/2023 3:45:00 PM

The concept of waste bank emerged in Indonesia with the introduction of the 2008 waste policy and­ materialized into action through the Ministry of Environment Regulation 13/2012. It provides a comprehensive framework for the establishment and development of waste banks in 250 cities across the country. The primary focus of the waste banks is to serve as a collection point for waste materials that have further prospects of recycling and reuse. 

The 13/2012 regulation specifies the requirements, mechanism and operation guidelines for waste banks, recognizing their integral role in application of the 3R principles and the extended producer responsibility (EPR). It shifts from the traditional collect-transport-dispose approach to a more sustainable model focused on waste segregation and recycling of valuable waste. 

Waste banks are typically run by the community with technical assistance by the central and local governments. In other cases, it might also be initiated by the local governments or the private sector under their corporate sector responsibility (CSR) programs. In general, they function as a collection point where residents can deposit their waste. The sorted waste is eventually purchased by junk collectors for further processing and the depositors receive nominal cash as an incentive in return of their waste. 

Overall, the policy sets waste banks as crucial intermediaries in waste management that act as buffer points for collection of recyclables rather than allowing them to end up in landfills. 

Result Achieved

With the introduction of the regulation in 2012, 471 waste banks sprouted across the country which helped manage 755,600 kg waste per month. By the end of 2012, there were 886 waste banks that managed waste up to 2,001,788 kg per month. Their total customer base was 84,623 people with a monthly turnover of around 212 billion USD. In 2015, waste banks managed 0.1% total waste generated; notable given their relatively recent implementation and that it is mostly voluntarily run by the community. Recently, 2021 statistics reveal 11,556 waste banks across Indonesia that have 419,204 customers and a monthly turnover of 1.8 billion USD. 

Some leading cities with exemplary implementation of waste banks are Malang that handles almost 2000 kg of waste per day and Surabaya that has 91 waste banks with a monthly turnover of 10,000USD.

Challenges and Lesson Learned

The policy lays a foundation for the operation of waste banks, but its success heavily relies on community engagement both as consumers and managers. However, effective operations of waste bank are hindered by the stigma associated with waste and those who handle it. Communities still lack awareness on waste segregation and are not fully receptive of the services provided by the waste bank. 

Further, in the absence of sufficient financial and technical support from the government, community members who work as managers have a hard time dealing with logistical problems, such as space for collection points and storage facilities. Although the community is an integral part of the initiative, support from across multiple stakeholders is integral for its success.


The policy does not mandate the operations of waste banks but plays a remarkable role to expedite recycling efforts. It enables waste banks to adapt their operations to suit the community’s needs by providing a flexible framework. 

For countries seeking to enhance their waste management, the replication of the policy can be beneficial. Its success however depends upon effective community engagement, thoughtful adaptation of the program to the local context and sufficient awareness on waste as a valuable resource. 

The kNOwWaste Knowledge Platform was developed through a Project Cooperation Agreement funding by UNEP on 2016. The platform provides data and information on holistic waste management to stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific region. The platform was developed with the following aims: generate and consolidate data or information on holistic waste management, transform data into easily comprehensible outputs for use by key stakeholders, map out and disseminate information on international waste management projects under the GPWM and UNEP projects as well as other international partners, and provide capacity building support through dissemination of data or information support for relevant stakeholders on holistic waste and waste management system.
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