Environment Minister, Siti Nurbaya, said last year that Indonesia was in a state of waste emergency. Waste still poses a problem in densely populated areas, even on campuses. Take Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) for example, we see waste depots to become the dump place for waste from UGM faculties and units before these are transported to the landfill or waste processor. The depots, however, have not been utilised well with much of the waste are heaped up outside. The waste has not been processed optimally that actually – if done well – can give benefits.
The UGM Education, Research, and Development Station of Agriculture (KP4) since 2011 has already facilities to process organic waste that in the end can produce compost. The facility, however, has not been used optimally. Of the maximum capacity to process up to 30 tonnes, only 5-10 tonnes of organic waste have already been processed.
“Now with the change from KP4 to PIAT (Centre for Agro-Technology Innovation), I hope waste management can be done better, not only for organic but also non-organic waste. At least 70% of all waste produced at UGM can be processed here,” said Head of the Centre, Dr. Ir. Bambang Suhartanto, DEA, on Tursday (4/2) in a Focus Group Discussion themed UGM Towards Initiator of Waste Self-Management Campus.
The waste from UGM consists of household waste, organic waster, even laboratory waste. Thus, Bambang emphasised the revitalisation of the Recycle Lab facility at the PIAT for more integrated and comprehensive waste management. “Non-organic waste like plastic – which is of great volume – can be recycled, not just being dumped to the landfill,” he said.
PIAT Head for Energy and Waste Management, Chandra Wahyu Purnomo, S.T., M.Eng., D.Eng., said one of the barriers they faced was the underused facilities. “The exisiting facilities are limited and underused Waste management should be designed well that requires intensive and sustainable study and research,” he said.
The discussion at PIAT conference room presented UGM researchers and representatives from UGM directorates and departments. The experts will together produce a waste management master plan as well as Road Map to reach an independent waste management that has environment insight so it becomes a model for waste management for other places.
“I hope this discussion will not only make UGM an initiator of waste self-management for campuses, but also an initiator for national waste management,” said UGM Vice-Rector for Research and Community Service, Prof. Dr. Suratman.