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Waste Piles Up In Bali As Another Landfill Catches Fire 

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Wildfires and landfill fires continue to burn across Bali. Wildfires in the mountainous regions of East Bali have been blazing since mid-September.

On the 16th of October, a fire broke out at the Suwung TPA in South Denpasar close to leading tourist resorts. As the fire smolders on, more landfill fires have broken out in key tourist destinations. 

Landfill Fire.jpg

Firefighting crews on Nusa Lembongan responded to an emergency call out to the Jungut Batu TPA landfill in the early hours of Wednesday 25th October.

The Head of the Klungkung Police and Fire Department, Dewa Putu Suwarbawa, confirmed that fire crews were supported by the local army post, police, and community members. 

@infobali.viral TPA JUNGUTBATU, NUSA PENIDA TERBAKAR TPA Jungutbatu, di Pulau Lembongan, Kecamatan Nusa Penida terbakar, Selasa (24/10/2023) malam. Upaya pemadaman api sulit dilakukan, karena di wilayah Pulau Lembongan tidak tersedia armada pemadaman kebakaran. "TPA di Jungutbatu terbakar," ungkap Perbekel Desa Jungutbatu, I Made Gede Suryawan, Selasa (24/10/2023) malam. Ia mengungkapkan, kebakaran tersebut terjadi sekitar pukul 17.00 Wita. Namun semakin malam, api semakin berkobar membakar sampah di TPA tersebut. Sementara upaya pemadaman api sulit dilakukan, mengingat di wilayah Pulau Lembongan dan Ceningan selama ini belum tersedia armada pemadam kebakaran. 🎥@koranbaliexpress Sumber: Tribun Bali #infobaliviral #nusapenida #jungutbatu #tpajungutbatu #kebakaran #lembongan #kebakarantpa #tpa #fyp ♬ suara asli – Tu Pande 273

Firefighting crews arrived on the scene at 7.30 pm and were able to deploy hoses across the site, including calling on the equipment available at the nearby tourist hangout at Agung Beach Club.

The fire crew had no option but to use seawater to battle the blaze since Nusa Lembongan, like much of Bali province, is in drought.

The Jungut Batu TPA landfill is just 1.9km from one of Nusa Lembongan’s most popular beaches, Jungut Batu Beach, which is famous for its boutique accommodation and laid-back beach cafes. 

Suwarbawa told reporters, “The flames have been extinguished but the process of cooling and decomposing the waste is still being carried out. Currently, cooling has only reached 25 percent, while the waste decomposition already covers one hectare.”

It has not been confirmed how the fire started, though the last three landfill fires that are still smoldering away on the main island of Bali show that these sites are tinderboxes ready to burn. 70-80% of the waste at these sites is thought to be organic.

This means as the organic waste decomposes between the inorganic substances under the heat of the tropics, with over 100 days without rain, the methane trapped beneath a dry surface layer provides perfect conditions for a fire to take hold. 

@listenseemedia Selamat datang di tempat pembuangan sampah terbaru Bali yang terletak di Desa Kelating, Tabanan. Karena tempat pembuangan sampah Bali terus terbakar, Bali telah memutuskan untuk mengubah sawah ini menjadi tempat pembuangan sampah terbuka. 📸 garybencheghib #listensee #Berita #beritaterkini ##sampah #bali #fyp #fypdongggggggggシ ♬ suara asli – ListenSeeMedia

As fires at Suwung TPA, just 7.5km from Kuta Beach, continue to blaze, and the smoke from the Mandung TPA shoulders on, waste is piling up across the island at an alarming rate.

Suwung TPA typically takes in more than 200 truckloads of waste every day, and Mandung TPA is the second largest.

Since the fires broke out, no new waste has been permitted to be deposited, and both government and privately managed recycling facilities are at capacity or unable to process waste usually destined directly for landfill. 


In light of impending catastrophic levels of waste on the streets of Bali, I Ketut Adi Wiguna, Head of the Waste and B3 Waste Management Division, has asked the public to be patient.

The authorities in Denpasar have been working to redirect waste to Kelating TPA in Tabanan and the Temesi TPA in Gianyar.

These two landfills each have their limitations both in terms of waste tonnage and disposal time. Temesi TPA in Gianyar, not far from Ubud, was also ablaze last week. 


Footage circulating on citizen journalism social media accounts shows trash trucks backing up at key intersections across the island.

The authorities have alluded that the smoldering fires could continue to billow smoke for upwards of two weeks, and the next impactful rains are predicted to arrive in Bali by the end of the year.

This situation will continue to develop over the coming weeks, and although leaders are asking for patience, both local residents and tourists are becoming increasingly concerned. 

On Denpasar resident who wished to remain anonymous told reporters, “It’s annoying and smelly. Before Friday, the rubbish from my shop was regularly picked up every day.”


He added that what made the situation worse was that unknown people had left piled up rubbish in front of his shop.

This is something that is being reported all too frequently now. CCTV footage has shown people dumping trash bags into rivers and over the sides of bridges as a result of local trash collection being out of operation. 

As the fires linger on, tourists are advised to keep up to date with the latest air quality measures and take health and safety precautions as they see fit, such as reducing activities outdoors and wearing a mask. 

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J West

Friday 27th of October 2023

"waiting for the rain at the end of the year"? Locals dump garbage intentionally year round into ravines and rivers so that rain washes it down to collect on beaches. It's going to be the worst beach/ocean season ever because of the massive build up of locally dumped garbage. The rivers are already full. The Ubud ravines are good rain and coastal beaches will be knee deep and stinking. The fires are only part of the problem and extinguishing them all still won't solve the problem of village garbage washing down. One might think that Bali hates it's tourists.


Friday 27th of October 2023

I suppose that Indonesia doesn't have firefighting airplanes to scoop seawater to fight the fires? Maybe time to invest the tourist scammed money to invest in a couple of them.

Jessica Hawthorne

Monday 30th of October 2023

@Firechef, These are not effective with chemical fires created by compacted trash. And also not used over residential areas.


Thursday 26th of October 2023

While landfills are burning all over Bali, the local government in Kuta has decided to create a NEW LAND FILL across the new beach walk near Setra Kauh Desa Adat Kuta. . It is accumulating with smell and rats... Why was this done


Friday 27th of October 2023

@Specialmoments, Nobody collect the trash anymore. Landfills are full and burning. Temporary "sorting" stations are full with trash overflowing onto roads. A truck came around today but collected on main roads. All trash inside Gg. left behind to rot even further. And this is a socalled "elite" area.

J West

Thursday 26th of October 2023

SUSPEND ALL TOURISM until the toxic fires are really extinguished….period. Reporting that open flames are under control are nonsense, look at the photographic evidence. Locals and tourists are going to develop lifelong pulmonary disease and many will die. If you can smell it, your lungs are being ravaged by toxic chemicals. It’s well known that Bali is a cess pool. Reports by ‘citizen journalists’ of open dumping are a cry for help. The garbage has piled up for decades. The locals have disrespected the tourist culture by spitefully throwing garbage into rivers and ravines. The beaches and ocean are poisonous vectors where serious diseases are no longer hidden in tourism statistics when being treated in third countries. The word is ‘Come to Bali…swim in the sewage’.


Thursday 26th of October 2023

In local news today:

"Many TPS (Temporary trash sorting stations) and depots overflow with trash as unable to transport to landfills on fire. Denpasar City Satpol PP (civil police) are out monitoring TPS to stop people from delivering their trash! People must bring trash back home".

This is a disaster in waiting. I suspect the priority is to keep tourist zones "clean" -- while local areas are overflowing with uncollected trash. But this issue will soon catch up with everybody.

J West

Friday 27th of October 2023

@Exp, I think it's time to suspend all tourism because airborne toxic chemicals are already creating a death spiral for locals and tourists alike. Locals die at home when witch doctor herbal remedies fail and the cause of death is misdiagnosed as "liver disease" or other. Tourists go home to hospitals and enter lifelong treatment regime only to die early. Bali hasbeen a 'dumpfire' for decades. As EXP states...the problem has finally caught up to include every community.

Suggestion: look at Hawaii where polluters get serious jail time.