Rekosistem: A Climate-Tech Startup that Optimizes the Waste Value Chain in Indonesia

Indonesia is facing a serious waste management problem, especially in urban areas. According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia generated about 67.8 million tons of waste in 2019, but only 39.2% of it was managed properly¹. The rest was either dumped in open landfills, burned, or disposed of in waterways, causing environmental pollution, health risks, and greenhouse gas emissions.

To address this challenge, Rekosistem, a climate-tech startup founded in 2018, offers waste management and recycling services to optimize the waste value chain. Rekosistem, derived from a combination of two words; ‘re’ and ‘ecosystem’ (in Bahasa: Ekosistem). Re- stands for (1) reduce, (2) reuse, (3) recycle, (4) renewable, and (5) all sustainable related principles that will be implemented on their products. Ecosystem means that their solutions will revamp the existing behavior into a more eco-friendly community and conform them with how the ideal and organic interaction should happen⁵.

Rekosistem operates a digital platform that connects waste generators, such as households, restaurants, hotels, and factories, with waste collectors and recyclers. Through the Rekosistem app, users can report their waste, locate the nearest Rekosistem drop points or waste stations, and exchange their waste for Rekopoints that can be redeemed for vouchers and GoPay⁵. Rekosistem also provides a free once a week inorganic waste pickup service for certain areas in Jakarta and its surroundings, called Repickup Cluster⁵.

Rekosistem collects various types of waste, such as plastic, paper, metal, glass, electronic, and used cooking oil (UCO). The collected waste is then sorted, processed, and sold to recycling partners or converted into value-added products, such as biodiesel, compost, and handicrafts. Rekosistem also collaborates with various stakeholders, such as government agencies, private companies, NGOs, and communities, to implement sustainability and extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs⁵.

Rekosistem’s vision is to create a circular economy model that benefits both the environment and the society. By recycling waste, Rekosistem reduces the demand for natural resources, mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, and prevents environmental degradation. By empowering waste collectors, Rekosistem provides income and employment opportunities, improves living conditions, and raises awareness for waste management. By engaging waste generators, Rekosistem incentivizes behavioral change, promotes sustainable consumption, and fosters social responsibility.

Rekosistem has achieved impressive results since its inception. As of December 2020, Rekosistem has successfully recycled and processed more than 10,000 metric tons of waste, managed more than 20,000 houses and 100 commercial places, and implemented more than 20 sustainability and EPR programs⁵. Rekosistem has also secured USD 5 million investment round from Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese conglomerate, to expand its waste circularity ecosystem in Indonesia⁷.

Rekosistem is one of the leading climate-tech startups in Indonesia that is transforming the waste management sector with innovative solutions. Rekosistem is not only solving a problem, but also creating a solution for Indonesia’s environmental and social challenges.

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