How many aluminum cans can get you 1g of gold?
In North Jakarta, the trade-in value of 70kg of aluminum cans – around 4,500 empty cans – is equivalent to 1g of gold at the Wijaya Kusuma Waste Bank.
Other recyclables such as cardboard and plastic bottles are also accepted by the program initiated by the Bemis Gading neighborhood in January last year.
The waste bank was set up with a simple mission – to encourage the locals to recycle and reduce waste. After residents deposit recyclables here, the waste bank would clean and sell them to the North Jakarta government.
In April this year, pawnshop PT Pegadaian offered to collaborate with this waste bank – and four other waste banks in Jakarta – by rewarding the residents with gold.
Mdm Roswanthy Sweden, 67, is one of the serious participants of the program. She has collected enough recyclables to receive more than 10g of gold.
67岁的Mdm Roswanthy Suweden很认真地参与这个项目，她攒的回收物已经可以兑换超过10g黄金。
“I’m happy. I save little by little, and over time I have a lot. The gold is for my children and grandchildren,” she told CNA at the waste bank.
Head of North Jakarta environment agency Mr. Slamet Riyadi applauded the idea of offering gold as an incentive to recycle.
Women, who usually manage the households, will find the scheme attractive, he said.
“Before it worked together with the pawnshop, it had around 34 or 36 customers (residents who took part in the program). But since the partnership, the number increased to 105,” Mr. Riyadi said.
Besides Jakarta, similar “trash for gold” schemes are also found in other Indonesian cities like Palembang, Bandar Lampung, and Makassar.