Tourist’s complaint of stink triggers shutdown of unofficial landfill in Bukit, Bali

Illustration. Photo: Pixabay

Land being used as a dumping ground in Bali’s Bukit area is getting blocked off after complaints from a tourist about the stench in the area launched an investigation and found the place was an unauthorized landfill.

The landfill will officially be blocked off from dumping on Sunday, offering a grace period and time for the news to be socialized to the three big neighborhoods—Pecatu, Ungasan, Jimbaran—with residents that use it, says Eka Merthawan, head of Badung’s Environment and Sanitation Agency (DLHK).

Triggering the whole investigation into the landfill were complaints from a French tourist about an awful stench in Ungasan, that got DLHK, municipal police, and other related parties involved, according to Merthawan.

The owner of the land encompassing the landfill, Ungasan resident I Wayan Nukarta, says that the space has been a de facto dump site since 2003.

In 2009, when the volume of waste became too much for Nukarta to handle, the man says he asked the local villages to step in and manage it, along with waste collection. It’a not clear yet if Badung regency just didn’t know or didn’t care about the landfill until 2018.

At present, rubbish is collected from around 30,000 places of residence in South Kuta across 10 different residential communities, with each household being charged IDR15,000-20,000 (US$1.10-1.50) per month.

About 25 tons of rubbish are collected and dropped off to the Ungasan dump daily, Nukarta estimates.

South Kuta sub-district head Made Widiana additionally confirmed to Bali Post that the landfill was unauthorized.

All garbage that had been getting dumped in Ungasan will be redirected to Suwung, Bali’s main landfill in South Denpasar (which certainly has issues aplenty of its own) after the socialization period comes to a close, Widiana said.

Widiana said he’s strongly opposed to any such unauthorized, thereby unregulated landfill in his sub-district and advises any entrepreneurs interested in waste management to go through their relevant municipal agencies and set things up cleanly.

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