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Indonesia Opens Regional Recycling Conference

Attendees at the 3R Forum look at toy motorcycles made from recycled parts, Surabaya, Indonesia. (Petrus Riski/VOA)
Indonesia has opened a regional recycling conference aimed at increasing awareness of waste management for economic and environmental benefits.

The Fifth Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific, which opened in Surabaya Tuesday, is being attended by 300 participants from nearly 40 Asia and Pacific countries.

The city was chosen to host the event because of its success in managing municipal waste through the 3Rs, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Mayor Tri Rismaharini said waste transportation is expensive and that the best way to address the problem is at its sources, with every household involved in recycling activities. "We can see that every year there is a reduction in the volume of trash that ends up in the landfill. When I was the head of Sanitation and Parks, it was 2,300 cubic meters per day. Currently it’s 1,200 cubic meters," he explained. "So you can see the reduction, which goes to composting centers, also in the community, and waste management centers."

The mayor said the city also runs a program for children called eco school.

"The school does not only teach about the environment but also introduces environmental-friendly practices, such as the eco school program where they bring their own plates and cups to reduce plastic waste. They even don’t use drinking straws," added Tri Rismaharini.

The conference will continue until Thursday.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.