Pulp giant delivers progress report to ministry on waste removal

(foresthints.news) - Pulp giant Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), more specifically in this case its pulpwood subsidiary PT BAP, has delivered a progress report to the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment and Forestry in which it states that waste from OKI Pulp and Paper Mills, which is located in the PT BAP concession, has been cleaned up.

The ministry was compelled to impose sanctions on the APP company, partly due the huge piles of waste from OKI Pulp and Paper Mills dumped in peatlands in one of the blocks of the PT BAP concession, situated in the regency of Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI) in South Sumatra province.

A field inspection conducted by the ministry (Feb 9) concluded that the practice of piling up waste in massive volumes clearly contravenes waste management regulations. As such, the sanctions included a stipulation that the OKI Pulp and Paper Mills dumped waste must be removed.

“PT BAP has given us a progress report, which includes photos of their handling of this waste. The photos they submitted show that these huge stacks of waste have been cleaned up,” Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, Director of Oversight Complaints and Administrative Sanctions in Law Enforcement of the ministry, told foresthints.news (Apr 13).

The director presented photos clearly demonstrating that the piles of waste have been removed. According to the company’s report, this waste was disposed of in a landfill.

The first of the following photos depicts the mounds of OKI Pulp and Paper Mills waste found in the PT BAP concession, as documented by the ministry. In the second photo, meanwhile, it can be seen that these piles of waste have been removed.

Verification required

Even though the photos illustrate a good development in that PT BAP has seemingly cleaned up the heaps of OKI Pulp and Paper Mills waste, Vivien was quick to point out that the ministry’s law enforcement team still needs to make a first-hand, on-the-ground verification of the company’s progress report.

“It needs to be verified, as we have only received a written report. Such are the procedures,” said Vivien, before adding that in its progress report, PT BAP also elucidated an action plan to rehabilitate the top soil of the area previously used as the waste dumping site.

“The waste was dumped in peatlands, which now need to be rehabilitated and restored,” she explained.

OKI Pulp and Paper Mills began operating towards the end of last year. The ministry team admitted their surprise and concern upon discovering enormous heaps of waste from the pulp and paper mills when carrying out a field inspection of the APP pulpwood company.