In a bold step towards a greener future, the UGM Faculty of Engineering has launched Grahakara Grafika, a dedicated Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (3R) Waste Collection Point.
This groundbreaking initiative signals the faculty’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability and zero-waste practices.
The Waste Collection Point was officially inaugurated by the Dean of the UGM Faculty of Engineering, Professor Selo, on Friday (December 1) and has started processing sorted waste from all work units in the faculty.
“The amount of waste produced by the Faculty of Engineering is quite a lot, reaching several tons every month. In 2023, we aim to have no waste leaving the faculty. With the zero waste concept, the waste from work units will be properly treated and repurposed so that it doesn’t need to go to the final disposal site,” said Professor Selo.
He emphasized the need to instill a commitment to waste management among the members of the Faculty of Engineering.
All work units have been directed to reduce waste, such as avoiding using cardboard packaging for snacks during meetings. Students are also encouraged to bring their reusable water bottles, as water dispensers are available at various points within the faculty.
“If we fail to manage our waste effectively, it will become a problem. The faculty leadership role is to create waste management rules for work units, and a designated unit then manages the waste,” Professor Selo added.
Grahakara Grafika is not just a collection point; it’s a transformation hub. The facility features dedicated areas for sorting inorganic and sellable waste, such as paper and plastic.
There is also a leaf waste shredding machine producing compost, a composting tank with microorganisms, and a food waste shredder equipped with microbubble technology to accelerate decomposition.
The benefits of organic waste processing extend beyond waste reduction. The resulting compost fertilizes plants and nourishes the catfish raised by the faculty.
“This serves as an example that waste can contribute to food security,” said Dr. Ni Nyoman Nepi Marleni, an environmental engineering lecturer at UGM who oversees the development of Grahakara Grafika.
Vice Dean for Research, Community Service, and Cooperation at the UGM Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Ali Awaludin, highlighted the facility’s potential as a learning tool for students and the wider community.
“In the past, this area was merely a dumping ground for mixed waste before being transported to landfills. But it doesn’t feel right to have this on campus. We want our students, future nation leaders, to experience the importance of waste sorting firsthand,” Dr. Marleni said.
Various faculty partners supported the facility’s establishment. Developing waste processing technologies and facilities aligns with UGM’s ongoing commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr. Awaludin hopes that Grahakara Grafika can serve as a model for other faculties and institutions to learn the theory and practice of waste management.
“The most challenging aspect is transforming the mindset of those who have been indifferent to waste management issues. This is a heavy task, but it must be exemplified on campus. Hopefully, this will continue,” the vice dean added.