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Indonesia: Tech-Driven Solutions for Waste Management

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Kelurahan Warungboto, located in Kemantren Umbulharjo, Yogyakarta City, in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, has experienced rapid tourism and educational infrastructure growth. This growth has driven the socio-economic improvement of the local community with the emergence of various Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). However, this massive growth also brings new challenges, such as the increasing amount of waste generated by community activities.

Image credits: ugm.ac.id

The waste generated in Kelurahan Warungboto significantly contributes to the total waste in Yogyakarta City. With the closure of the Piyungan landfill, the problem of waste accumulation has worsened. Waste Banks have emerged as a potential solution in response to this issue. Currently, Kelurahan Warungboto has 11 active waste banks.

Athaya acknowledged the presence of waste banks in Kelurahan Warungboto as one solution to address the increasing waste accumulation. However, efforts are needed to enhance the effectiveness of their management.

Therefore, she and the team from the Capacity Building Programme for Student Organizations (PPK Ormawa) of the Geography Development Student Association (HMGP) LESTARI 2024 are present in Kelurahan Warungboto. This team aims to optimise waste banks through digitalisation and increase community awareness and creativity regarding waste management.

Athaya explained that the UGM student team involved waste management activists in Kelurahan Warungboto in carrying out activities. This digitalisation programme utilises applications, websites, and popular social media platforms, which are integrated to facilitate waste bank management, including connecting customers and managers. The integration of these digital tools allows for streamlined communication, efficient scheduling of waste collection, and real-time tracking of waste management activities.

The digital tools implemented in this initiative are designed to simplify the processes of waste collection, sorting, and recycling. Through a dedicated mobile application, residents can schedule waste pick-ups, track the amount of waste they generate, and receive notifications about waste management activities. The website serves as a central hub for information, providing educational resources on waste reduction and recycling practices and showcasing success stories of community members actively participating in the waste bank programme.

The students come from different study backgrounds. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that the solutions developed are comprehensive and address various aspects of waste management, from technological innovation to environmental sustainability.

The team’s diverse expertise allows for a robust system that integrates IoT (Internet of Things) devices to monitor waste levels, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to map waste generation hotspots, and data analytics to optimise waste collection routes. These technological advancements aim to make waste management more efficient and data-driven, reducing the environmental footprint of the community’s waste.

This programme, supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, was implemented from March to October 2024 with guidance from Alia Fajarwati SSi, MIDEA, as the supervising lecturer. The PPK Ormawa HMGP UGM team conducted surveys and approached the Kelurahan Warungboto government, community, and stakeholders in developing this programme.

“Currently, we are introducing the programme to the community to support the success of waste management digitalisation towards a zero-waste Kelurahan Warungboto. We hope that through this activity, it can become a solution to the waste problem in Yogyakarta,” she explained.

Community engagement is a critical component of this initiative. The team conducts workshops and training sessions to educate residents on the importance of waste segregation, recycling and the benefits of participating in the waste bank programme. These sessions are complemented by digital social media campaigns that aim to raise awareness and encourage more residents to join the initiative.

Through this collaborative and innovative approach, it is envisioned that Kelurahan Warungboto will not only be able to solve its waste problem but also develop its economic potential sustainably. Digitalised waste banks have become an integral part of this effort, utilising technology to enhance efficiency and community involvement in waste management.

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