Kotagede is part of Yogyakarta city which is known as the centre of silver handicrafts that come in the form of jewelleries, ornaments, silverware, souvenier, etc. Besides, Kotagede is the area where old remnants of Mataram kingdom still exist such as traditional market, cemetery compound of the Kings, shadow puppet, Kotagede grand mosque, and so on. These two sectors have withdrawn both international and domestic tourists alike to visit the place.
But behind the tourism potential, some problems persist, which is the lack of waste management of the metal handicraft production. This is because to dissolve the metals needs additional chemicals., which eventually creates liquid waste. This waste is usually directly thrown to the ground or sewerage, which will potentially pollute the water and the ground.
Thus, to maintain the status of tourism city which is environmentally friendly, it needs a method to manage the waste.
Five UGM students were inspired to create a solution to the problem. They are Robertus Julio and Yoga Handika (Tourism students), Mardiani, Eka Indriani, and Neni Meilinda (Mathematics and Natural sciences students). Supervised by M Sidiq Wicaksono, S.E., M.Sc., they offered a method for waste management known as Lima Jadi Berkah.
Mardiani explained the method is a technology for metallic liquid waste management. The team uses adsorbent, which is active carbon that can minimise the level of metals in the liquid waste, such as copper and zinc. “We choose the compound due to its effect which is more environmentally friendly,” he said.
Mardani said the programme started out in one of the handicraft makers, who will be a pilot project for the others. With this method, he hoped Kotagede would become a new attraction for tourists. “Tourists will not only buy the handicraft, but also see the process of metal handicraft making and even its waste processing method,” he said.
Mardiani expected Kotagede would be an educational tourism for environmental conservation. “We can design tourism package, module, even comic book on waste management to raise environmental awareness,” he said.