Skip to main content

Black Soldier Flies, Catalyst for Organic Waste Breakdown

By 11 October 2023October 31st, 2023Group News3 min read

Photo: Maggots used in the waste processing facility

JAKARTA – Environmental issues today are getting more tangible and difficult to overlook; this is most true for waste handling. Vast technological growth has ramped up production and successively generated more garbage, bringing the need for “real”, precise actions like speeding up decomposition.

This process is made possible by black soldier flies, a species known for its skill in digesting organic waste such as meal, fruit, and vegetable scraps. These flies are the “clean” type, meaning they don’t land on food and carry vector-borne diseases, making them safe for human health and safety.

Cibubur Rest Area is the first establishment to use these flies to manage its own biodegradable waste. Located 10 km away from Jagorawi Toll’s starting point, the rest stop is home to dozens of restaurants, a modern supermarket, and a fruit specialty store that frequently haul their leftovers to the area’s waste processing depot.

The facility, operated by Korindo Group subsidiary PT Bimaruna Marga Jaya, can hold up to 500 kg of food waste per day.

“Our tenants produce three types of waste: organic, non-organic, and B3 (hazardous and toxic waste). For the third one, we’ve got a separate storage with its own certified operator, and there is also a special landfill for non-organic scraps,” said Budimansyah from PT Bimaruna Marga Jaya’s HRD & GA Division.

One of the operators scoops a small pile of mashed, discarded food into a bucket

Around 200-250 kg of kitchen remains and expired store items make their way into the rest stop’s dumpster every day. This number was even higher during the pandemic, at one point hitting 300-450 kg.

“Black soldier fly-based bioconversion has helped us cut back daily waste by 30-40 percent and made us the first rest stop in the whole country that manages waste on its own.”

With this much volume reduced, the method becomes a feasible option to combat the current waste crisis spurred by overloaded landfills.

Particularly since The Economics Intelligence Unit (2021) crowned Indonesia as the second biggest contributor to global food loss and waste, right after Saudi Arabia and before the United States.

Muhammad Firdaus, a store employee, said he liked having the facility as it could minimize waste piles and make the area friendlier to the environment.

“I love that we have this place set up, it makes me aware of how important it is to protect the environment through waste reduction. Simply by sorting the trash I produce, I am participating in the movement. Knowing how the processing machine works also helps as well because I get to know that waste has an economical function for the society,” he said.

Photo: Waste put in the machine will be broken down by the flies

These flies are not only a catalyst for faster waste degradation, but offer economic benefits if managed properly. In their maggot phase, they make great feed for livestock, chicken, or fish — being rich in protein — and significantly promote animal growth.

Korindo Group strives to protect the natural environment through waste management initiatives that contribute to sustainability efforts at each stage of production. (PR)