Introduction

The massive growth of urban populations and economies in developing South East Asia has resulted in a correspondingly enormous growth in solid waste which local governments are finding difficult to handle. Existing dumpsites are filling up and finding new dumpsites is becoming increasingly difficult. As organic materials usually comprise over half of the total waste, composting is a clear, low cost and workable solution to help reduce the amount of landfill waste. In order to facilitate the implementation of workable composting schemes, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) - Kyushu International Centre, Kitakyushu City, the Kitakyushu International Techno-Cooperative Association (KITA) and the Kitakyushu Urban Centre, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (KUC IGES) are working together to promote the KitaQ System Composting in Asian cities, aiming to reduce reliance on landfill as a disposal route and establishing a more sustainable material-cycle society.

 

The KitaQ System Composting focuses on a decentralised, community-managed approach, in contrast to centralised, larger-scale composting methods which required a high initial capital cost. It assists local governments and their counterparts in the creation of an action plan, aiming to achieve a 5-10% total waste reduction target within 1-3 years promoting composting practices. Once the action plans are created, capacity development occurs through technical transfer; organising training and seminars; sharing information and networking, and facilitating institutional and policy recommendations.

The KitaQ System Composting was developed following the experiences of Surabaya’s Solid Waste Management Model. This model was based on the success of pilot project implemented in Kampong Rungko Lor. With the technical assistance of the KITA, Surabaya City started to promote decentralised composting using the Takakura Method (a simple composting method developed by Koji Takakura of J-Power Group, JPec Co., Ltd., a local firm in Kitakyushu City) across the city by setting up composting centres and distributing free compost baskets to its residents as well as organising community cleanup campaigns and waste recycling activities, building partnership with other stakeholders. This supportive policy environment has helped to reduce the amount of waste being transported to final disposal sites by as much as 30% and has succeeded in improving the city’s overall waste collection system.

The success of Surabaya City has been documented and widely publicised by IGES and Kitakyushu City across the city network created by the Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment which ran from 2000-2010. This has created considerable demand for technical assistance in adapting and implementing the KitaQ System Composting in other Asian cities. To further support these efforts, a regional seminar was organised in Kitakyushu City from 29 Jun - 01 Jul 2011 inviting related cities and organisations to share and discuss their successful experiences and challenges in promoting KitaQ System Composting and strengthen further information sharing and networking.