Jakarta to Privatize Trash Work as Trucks Retire

By webadmin on 08:30 pm Jan 16, 2012
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Dofa Fasila

Faced with rapidly increasing waste volume and an aging fleet of garbage trucks, the Jakarta administration will involve the private sector in waste transportation, an official said on Monday.

Eko Bharuna, the head of the city’s sanitation office, said 201 of the city’s 797 garbage trucks were inoperational in 2010, a number expected to rise by 2014.

“The number of garbage trucks that will no longer be roadworthy in 2014 will reach 367, or about 46 percent of our total fleet,” he said.

He said most of the city’s trucks were at least 15 years old.

They already appear to be fighting a losing battle with Jakarta producing some 6,500 tons of waste a day.

“The maintenance costs for such old vehicles are more expensive than just buying a new vehicle. Rather than waste money, it is better to stop operating them,” Eko said.

Faced with budget shortfalls and too few garbage trucks on the street, Eko said the sanitation office would become more of a regulator, with the transportation and processing of waste being handled by private companies.

“We will hand over the processing and transportation of garbage to the private sector,” he said. “They will provide the vehicles needed for the transportation of waste as well as care for their upkeep.

He said the policy was expected to result in savings for the city because it would no longer have to buy vehicles or maintain them, but did not provide a time frame for when it would happen.

It will also take pressure off the sanitation office, he said, which lacks the manpower to operate and maintain the trucks.

The office, however, will continue to handle the transportation of waste before the collection point, including through the use of smaller motorized wagons or man-drawn carts that will be able to serve the city’s densely populated slum areas and maze of alleys.

Eko also said that the 430 other garbage trucks in the city’s fleet, as well as compactors, would continue to assist in the transportation of trash until they were no longer roadworthy.

“But as time goes, these vehicles will become older and older and will have to be put into retirement,” he said, “so that in the future all garbage transportation will be managed by the private sector.”