Potential demand for recoverable resources from Indonesian wastewater and solid waste

S.M. Kerstens*, A. Priyanka, K.C. Van Dijk, F.J. De Ruijter, I. Leusbrock, G. Zeeman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Projected population growth and urbanization will become a challenge for finite natural resources, their distribution and local availability. At the same time, 2.5 billion people do not have access to sanitation facilities. Indonesia is one of these rapidly growing countries with a poorly developed municipal wastewater and solid waste sector. Without an integrating concept to recover and reuse resources, "waste flows" are discarded and their potential value is ignored. Therefore, the Indonesian backlog may be an opportunity, since it allows for direct introduction of a circular resource approach. To foster a sustainable municipal wastewater and solid waste management, the 20 years' demand forecast of recoverable resources (phosphorus, compost, duckweed, plastic and paper) was analyzed. Phosphorus, compost and duckweed analysis was based on nutritional demand and not on market demand. Demand for recoverable plastic and paper related to the potential substitution of conventionally manufactured products. Phosphorus and compost demand analysis was based on (1) fertilizer requirements of 68 crops (staple food, horticulture and plantation), and (2) anticipated increase in production area of these crops. Duckweed demand as a protein-rich fish feed was analyzed based on the forecasted demand from aquaculture (tilapia and carp). The potentially recoverable (waste) plastic and paper to substitute conventional manufactured products were based on extrapolation of past trends in plastic and paper production in Indonesia. The potential contribution of recoverable products to the forecasted demand for 2035 was assessed for phosphorus (15%), compost (35%), duckweed (7%), plastic (66%) and paper (18%). A geographical discrepancy between potential recovery and demand location for phosphorus and compost was found. Therefore, the locations of potential markets should be considered in the planning and selection of wastewater and solid waste facilities. The presented methodology to assess the potential demand for recoverable resources from wastewater and solid waste may be applied in other countries as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-29
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Agriculture
  • Demand analysis
  • Phosphorus
  • Resource recovery
  • Solid waste
  • Wastewater


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