The closure of the Piyungan Final Disposal Site in Bantul Regency, the Special Region of Yogyakarta, has begun affecting Yogyakarta City, Sleman Regency, and Bantul Regency residents.
Piles of waste have accumulated on street corners since the site closure on July 23, 2023. Immediate efforts to process and manage waste are necessary to reduce waste accumulation.
Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) has taken several steps to address the waste problem and promote environmentally friendly waste management.
This commitment by UGM supports the government’s program to establish sustainable cities, as outlined in Sustainable Development Goal 11, with one of the indicators emphasizing good solid waste management.
One of the initiatives by UGM is creating facilities for processing organic waste into compost. Since 2011, the university has operated a waste composting facility at the Center for Agrotechnology Innovation (PIAT) in Kalitirto Village, Sleman Regency.
Additionally, UGM established the Recycling Innovation House (RinDU) in 2016, serving as a laboratory for recycling waste based on the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) concept.
The waste is managed through composting organic waste into fertilizer, pyrolysis of plastic waste into fuel, and incineration for waste that cannot be utilized further.
To address the waste generated during the COVID-19 pandemic, UGM collaborated with various partners to develop a waste management system known as Dropbox-Used Mask (Dumask).
The system aims to provide a safe and eco-friendly disposal solution for used masks and gloves from the public. The collected medical waste is then subjected to high-temperature heating (pyrolysis) for proper disposal.
UGM’s community members have also contributed to waste management innovations and breakthroughs. For instance, researchers from the Faculty of Engineering developed a plastic shredding machine that mixes shredded plastic with asphalt.
This innovation came from Muslim Mahardika, who involved Professor Nizam, Rachmat Sriwijaya, Sigiet Haryo Pranoto, and Fajar Yulianto Prabowo in early 2018 to process plastic waste into value-added products.
This machine allows plastic waste to be recycled and used in asphalt production, reducing plastic waste in the environment.
Another innovation is the Biogas Power Plant at the Gemah Ripah Fruit Market in Gamping, Yogyakarta.
Established in 2011 by the UGM Waste Refinery Center in collaboration with Gemah Ripah Cooperative, the Sleman government, and the Swedia government, the installation converts fruit waste from the market into biogas.
The biogas is then utilized to generate electricity for the market traders, effectively reducing waste disposed to the Piyungan Disposal Site and emissions.
Additionally, a student from the Faculty of Biology, Rania Naura Anindhita, developed a formula called Eco Lindi to neutralize the odor from waste.
Eco Lindi utilizes leachate, the liquid from rainwater exposure to waste piles, to mitigate the odor and contribute to environmental solutions.
Furthermore, through the Community Service Program (KKN-PPM), UGM assists local communities in household waste management. Initially implemented around the UGM campus, this program aims to expand to various regions across Indonesia.
Students assist the locals in effective waste management at the village level prior to the dumping of the waste into the site, taking into account the unique characteristics of each community.
These diverse initiatives demonstrate UGM’s commitment to addressing waste problems and promoting sustainable waste management practices in collaboration with the community.