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Tourists Complain About ‘Stinky’ Garbage On Bali’s Iconic Canggu Beach

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It is no secret that Bali’s waste management systems are under increasing pressure, there is arguably as much plastic pollution washing up on the beaches along the island’s coastline as there is waste flowing downstream from the inland regions. 

This week leaders of the Canggu Traditional Village, who are responsible for the management of Bali’s iconic Batu Bolong Beach have been dealing with complaints from tourists whose experience of the area is being tarnished by the stench of the waste. 

The village leadership team visited Batu Bolong Beach to investigate the source of the most recent waste complaint. The team visited vendors who operate stalls and beach huts along the coast and discovered that the waste was being created by the local vendors. 

According to local news reports the vendors and stall holders have previously received warnings from the Bali Provincial Government and Badung Regency authorities to clean up their act. The head of the Badung Civil Service (Saptol PP), Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara, told the press that despite warnings and previous site visits, vendors have continues to dump their business waste irresponsibility.

As Bali’s beaches welcome tourists back for the first viable peak season in over two years, authorities across Bali are working hard to ensure that all visitors to the island get to experience the beauty of the beach’s that they had so been hoping for. 

Suryanegara told reporters on Monday afternoon that ‘Yes, it is true that there was a foul-smelling waste found on Batu Bolong Beach’. He confirmed that his teams visited stall holders on Sunday 17th July when the beach was busy with tourists and locals trying to enjoy quality time on the coast. 

He explained how the site visit was important since it showed that the Public Civil Service and the Department of Environment and Health (DHLK) are working together and taking the matter seriously. Suryanegara reported that the issue had initially been conveyed by the Deputy Governor who had been told about the intensity of the smell of the waste by local communities.

The site visit was ordered by the Deputy Governor himself. Suryanegara said ‘he [deputy governor] reported that there was a waste disposal issue after that, he continued his report to the Bali Provincial Satpol PP. Then the Provincial Satpol PP invited us and the DLHK to jointly review’.

During the site visit, the Canggu Traditional Village leaders joined officers from Saptol and the DHLK to discuss what could be done to resolve the issue. All parties visited vendors and urged them to dispose of their waste responsibly and to stop throwing trash and other business waste onto Batu Bolong Beach.

Local news reports suggest that the visiting authorities discussed desludging and options to remove the waste using industrial machinery. It is believed that discussions for a long terms solution are ongoing. In the meantime authorities, including the traditional village leaders, will monitor the situation and hold the local vendors to account. The topic of long-term waste management is high on the agenda for authorities across Bali. 

Governor Koster announced in April 2022 that he will be closing all of Bali’s landfill sites ahead of the G20 Summit in November 2022 is also the year that Bali will officially implement a ban on single-use plastics.

Governor Koster has set out a new waste management system that is hoped will help turn the tide on Bali’s garbage issues. The plan is to establish 26 new Reuse, Reduce, Recycle Waste Disposal Facilities (TPS3R) and 15 Integrated Waste Disposal Facilities (TPST) across Bali.

People across Bali are hopeful that this new strategy will be impactful from the get-go. Landfill sites across Bali are already operating beyond their capacity. With the G20 Summit, looming authorities in Bali are under increasing pressure to fulfil their pledges before the eyes of the world’s biggest political superpowers turn on the Islands of the Gods.

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Friday 22nd of July 2022

Recycling could be profitable here in Indonesia, with low labour costs and mountains of recyclable material. Rich countries pay hundreds of millions every year to export their recyclable waste to counyries like China. Why not take advantage of this.


Sunday 24th of July 2022

@Steven, Sounds nice, but in reality it will not work due to human nature and greed: Foreign companies will happily pay local companies here to "recycle" their trash. Then the local companies will happily take their money and dump (most if not all) the trash on a landfill. Rich countries needs to sort out their trash locally.



Friday 22nd of July 2022

As I understand all the money that people are forced to pay when entering canggu beach and most other beaches are supposed to go to maintaining and keeping the beaches in good condition. Unfortunately it goes straight down in their (pecalan) pockets. My experience is that Bali and its government have become more and more greedy for money. And people need to start opening their eyes about what pecalan really is, in other parts of the world its called Mafia.

Wayan Parapan

Thursday 21st of July 2022

I am guilty of throwing my trash down but really i am on holiday and should not have to worry. I think the locals should turn the trash into art or sandals and the tourist buy and take back to there home country. Exporting rubbish is a solution.

Wayan Bo

Wednesday 20th of July 2022

Each one should take back this what he left, and then it wouldn’t be a reason’s for complains.


Wednesday 20th of July 2022

"Governor Koster announced in April 2022 that he will be closing all of Bali’s landfill sites ahead of the G20 Summit in November 2022. The plan is to establish 26 new Reuse, Reduce, Recycle Waste Disposal Facilities (TPS3R) and 15 Integrated Waste Disposal Facilities (TPST) across Bali."

So apart for waste that can be recycled; what will happen to the rest of it if there is no more landfill?