The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most waste recycling activities to be terminated due to several factors, such as concerns about the spread of coronavirus through the collected solid waste. This study investigates the socio-economic impact of the situation of the closed-loop system of solid waste recycling. Several recommendations for tackling this problem are presented in this research. Primary data collection for the waste bank and informal recycling sector was carried out in the eastern part of Surabaya during large-scale social restrictions. In-depth interviews were conducted with waste bank customers, waste bank unit representatives and the informal recycling sector to understand the pandemic’s socio-economic impact on the closed-loop system. Results show that this pandemic has significant impacts on individuals and stakeholders engaged in waste recycling activities. Customers of waste banks, who mostly belong to low-income communities, mentioned that the waste bank closure gave rise to social and economic problems, such as increasing unmanaged solid waste and decreasing income. This result also applied to the informal recycling sector. The government can use the recommendations in this study to generate related policies, such as enforcing the health protocol within solid waste management to keep the recycling system in place and the business alive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1047
Number of pages9
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Closed-loop system
  • informal recycling sector
  • management
  • solid waste
  • waste bank


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