Study in Bali - Biology, Tourism, Sustainability | upskill.study
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Urban Biologist's Innovative Composting Initiative: A Step Towards Sustainable Waste Management

upskill Udayana's Excursion Postgraduate of Tropical Coastal Ecology and Community-Based Management Winter Semester 2023

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In a recent upskill excursion for Tropical Coastal Ecology and Community Based Management, participants from the Upskill Study Excursion Program, including students, alumni, and environmental enthusiasts, gathered at the headquarters of Urban Biologist in Bali. The event featured a comprehensive workshop by the founder, Mr. Buya Istiqlal, an alumnus of Udayana University, highlighting the innovative composting methods employed by Urban Biologists.


Urban Biologist's Mission

Urban Biologist, under the leadership of Mr. Buya Istiqlal, has been pioneering sustainable waste management since 2019. The primary objective is to combat the growing waste crisis in Bali by avoiding landfill disposal. The initiative focuses on collecting food waste and biomass from approximately 500 households and 120 businesses and transforming it into nutrient-rich compost through an aerobic composting system.


Composting Process Overview

During the workshop, Mr. Istiqlal provided insights into the intricate composting process employed by Urban Biologists. The aerobic composting system comprises various phases, spanning 1-3 weeks. The composting cells, filled with a mix of food waste and biomass, undergo regular turning and addition of microorganisms to achieve a balanced carbon-nitrogen ratio. The result is a high-quality compost that not only benefits subscribers but also contributes to the reduction of organic waste in landfills.

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Community Involvement

Urban Biologist actively engages with the community, offering a subscription service at a nominal fee of 100k/month. Subscribers receive weekly pickups and have the option to receive the compost produced. This approach not only incentivizes responsible waste management but also creates a sense of community responsibility. Additionally, Urban Biologist collaborates with local farmers committed to organic farming, donating excess compost to enhance soil fertility.


Environmental Impact

Through the Urban Biologist initiative, more than 10,000 cubic meters of organic waste have been diverted from landfills since 2019. The compost produced has exceeded 150 tons, contributing to the enrichment of local soils. Mr. Istiqlal emphasized the positive environmental impact, citing reduced methane emissions and the potential for carbon sequestration in the composted material.


Challenges and Future Perspectives

While the initiative has achieved remarkable success, challenges remain. Mr. Istiqlal acknowledged the need for government collaboration and investment in waste management facilities. He emphasized the scalability of the model, suggesting that every region in Bali should ideally have at least two composting facilities.

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The workshop by Mr. Buya Istiqlal at Urban Biologist provided a comprehensive understanding of sustainable waste management practices. The initiative's success highlights the importance of community involvement, responsible waste separation, and the positive environmental outcomes achievable through innovative approaches. As the world grapples with universal waste issues, Urban Biologist's model serves as an inspiring example of how localized initiatives can contribute to global environmental solutions.

By Billy Bagus

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