The Indonesian government plans to burn waste to fuel power plants

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  • 24 Jul 2019 12:00 AM
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Indonesia Plans to Solve Its Waste Crisis by Burning Waste for Electricity

The Indonesian government plans to burn waste to fuel power plants in four cities on the island of Java this year as part of efforts to tackle the country’s plastic waste crisis. Indonesia is the second-biggest contributor, after China, to the plastic waste that ends up in the oceans and is among a growing number of Asian countries refusing to import waste from developed countries. The Indonesian energy ministry expects to have 12 waste-to-energy plants online by 2022, generating a combined 234 megawatts of electricity by burning 16,000 tons of waste a day. However, a long-standing problem is that the Java-Bali grid that they’ll feed into is already heavily oversupplied, to the extent that the glut in idle energy threatens to damage the country’s finances. Environmentalists are also concerned that burning rubbish to generate electricity isn’t a sustainable solution to the plastic waste crisis and will result in the emission of toxic chemicals such as dioxins, mercury and micro particles.

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