Indonesia has been struggling with waste management for a long time, with only 39% of waste being properly collected and disposed of.
This has led to significant environmental pollution, harming both the health of the citizens and the country’s natural beauty. In an attempt to address this issue, NoLimbah, a Bali-based start-up, has come up with an innovative solution. But how did the idea for NoLimbah come about, and how does it work?
The Inspiration for NoLimbah
Charlotte, the founder of NoLimbah, and her team were inspired to start the company after realizing that beach clean-ups with NGOs would not solve Bali’s waste problem at its source. They realized that existing waste management systems in Bali were inadequate, with limited options available to the population. People often discard or burn waste illegally or pay for private collection services with irregular service.
The NoLimbah Solution
NoLimbah’s solution uses technology similar to food delivery and ride-sharing apps to make waste management easier and more rewarding. The app connects households and businesses in Bali with Pemulung collectors who are available in real-time. When a collector accepts a collection request, they are available to perform the service immediately, ensuring a timely and efficient waste management process. This method offers greater reliability and ease of use than existing private waste collection services.
Who are Pemulung?
Pemulung are locals that collect and recycle waste. This provides them with an income and helps keep Bali clean at the same time. But as it stands a lot of Pemulung have to drive around aimlessly hoping to find enough waste to generate enough money to survive and Pemulung are often looked down upon for their work.
With the app NoLimbah aims to give them optimized work routes so they can efficiently collect the waste. As well as create a community that gives respect to the undervalued “Trash heroes” of Bali.
A win-win partnership
Instead of having to pay for garbage collection, locals now actually receive money for their waste while the pemulung can collect the waste way more efficiently, saving them time and making it easier for them to grow their income. NoLimbah charges a 20% transaction fee on the money earned by locals, while foreigners receive free waste collection without any financial compensation. This strategy enables NoLimbah to grow and expand its operations!
Where is NoLimbah Active?
Currently, NoLimbah is in its beta testing phase and operating in two villages in Bali – Desa Ayunan and Desa Baha. They are exploring the possibility of expanding to additional villages in the Tabanan regency and Mengwi area, as well as to a broader community, including both locals and foreigners in the city. The app is available on Android and will soon be available on iOS too, and anyone can sign up on their waitlist.
What Happens to the Waste?
Once the waste is collected, the collectors take it to a sorting outlet, either owned by themselves or their employer. At the sorting outlet, the collectors clean and separate the recyclable waste, which is then sold to processing plants, often located in Java, to be turned into pellets and new products. NoLimbah works with Pemulung to ensure that as much waste as possible is properly managed. Pemulung resell waste to recycling centers, and their income depends on how much waste they resell. This creates an incentive for them to ensure proper waste management.
What are NoLimbah’s Future Plans?
NoLimbah has ambitious plans to expand its reach and grow its user base. Their goal is to make their app accessible to more people, including those in cities. They aim to collect 10 tons of recyclable waste in the next couple of years, which requires significant effort in changing people’s behavior. They also plan to establish more partnerships with sustainable brands to promote the use of products that reduce waste generation such as water filters to make tap water drinkable. Additionally, they plan to develop a B2B app to better connect their collectors to recycling facilities, ensuring that more waste is managed properly.
Why Use NoLimbah Instead of Regular Waste Collection Services?
NoLimbah is of interest to any household or business in Indonesia that generates waste. Their solution is free for households, and businesses will only be charged a minimal fee, which is significantly lower than the cost of existing private waste collection services. Additionally, NoLimbah offers greater reliability as it connects users with collectors who are available in real-time. From their beta testing experience, the collection time typically ranges between only 15 to 20 minutes on average.
What types of waste are eligible for pick-up?
Currently, their collection service includes cardboard, metal, certain types of glass (like Bintang bottles) and plastics. However they are actively pursuing partnerships to expand the range of waste that our collectors can handle in the future, including residual waste.
Their relationship with Pemulung
NoLimbah devotes significant effort to recruiting and training the collectors. The individualized approach begins with identifying potential partners. They establish a personal relationship with each collector, providing training and explaining to them the long-term benefits of using the app. Afterwards they provide ongoing support and monitor collections to ensure smooth operations.
How you can help NoLimbah in fighting pollution
1) By downloading the app and joining the waitlist. The more people show interest, the faster they can grow and make a real difference in the community.
2) Support their crowdfunding campaign here! Even a small donation can make big impact. For example a donation of $30 to $40 can provide a collector with phone credit for a whole year, a donation of $70 can provide health insurance for a year.
3) Follow NoLimbah on Instagram here to stay updated on their progress and receive tips on sustainable living.
4) Be conscious of your own behavior at home. Remember that the best waste is the waste that is not generated. Small actions you take to reduce waste can make a big difference in the long run!