WISE aims to contribute towards ending unnecessary waste by providing comprehensive and up-to-date information on waste management in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Singapore.


The world produces 2.12 billion tons of waste every year, including highly toxic electronic waste (e-waste), chemical waste, and organic pollutants The World Counts, 2022. Without meaningful action, emissions of plastic waste into aquatic ecosystems are projected to triple by 2040 (United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP], 2021).

Southeast Asia is a major contributor to the global waste problem.

  • Singapore is estimated to generate 3.763 kg per capita per day of municipal solid waste (MSW), far more than other countries in the region. Brunei Darussalam, in second place behind Singapore, only generates 37% (or 1.4 kg) or what Singapore does (UNEP, 2017). 
  • Bantar Gabang in Bekasi, Indonesia, is one of the largest landfills in the world. It is more than 200 football fields in size and accepts up to 7,000 tons of waste a day from Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia (Today, 2020). 
  • Seven of the top 20 rivers contributing to ocean plastic in 2015 were from the region, including: Brantas in Indonesia (6th with 38,900 tonnes annually), Solo in Indonesia (10th; 32.500 tonnes), and the Mekong (11th; 22,800 tonnes) (Our World in Data, citing Lebreton et al, 2017). 

Insufficient and improper waste management has profound consequences on climate change, wildlife, and public health.

  • Landfills and wastewater make up about 20% of global methane emissions, a powerful climate forcer and dangerous air pollutant. UNEP (2021) estimated that reducing methane emissions by 45% was prevent 260 000 premature deaths, 775 000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of lost labour from extreme heat, and 25 million tonnes of crop losses annually.
  • Animals die from getting stuck in nets and other waste materials, as well as eating plastic that they think is food (National Geographic, 2018).
  • Residents who live around Banter Gebang can no longer use the water because the groundwater around the landfill has been contaminated. They have also long complained of skin problems and the stench (Today, 2020). 

To contribute towards ending unnecessary waste, WISE is putting together a landscape study of the waste management in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Singapore.


  • To educate the public on waste management issues in Southeast Asia
  • To inform the strategies of those who wish to implement waste management initiatives in their communities

What the landscape study covers

The report aims to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on:

  • Waste generation and composition
  • Management and legal frameworks
  • Collection, recycling, disposal, and treatment methods
  • Case studies of successful initiatives

The study will also identify key challenges and opportuniites in each country.

How you can help

Volunteer your time to research, write, review, and update the study