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Desa Padangtegal in Ubud has their own waste management system called Rumah Kompos (or Compost House). Trash is first sorted by homeowners before being picked up by Rumah Kompos where it is sorted again and then the leftovers are delivered it to the Temesi garbage dump (TPA Temesi).

According to I Wayan Kujus Pawita, Head of Gianyar’s Environmental Agency, the system is reducing the trash burden of the government. “Garbage has always been a never-ending problem, and the government can’t work alone so the public’s participation has been highly encouraged,” he told reporters.

He added that the trash volume in Kabupaten Gianyar can reach up to 15 thousand cubic meters per day and only half of that can be handled by TPA Temesi. “The solution to the rest of the unattended waste should be a matter for all parties,” Pawita said.

Padangtegal’s Rumah Kompos is an innovation that should be adapted by other villages, plus it’s a great way to raise awareness on how important it is to help clean and protect the environment together. “We hope the environmentally-friendly way the Padangtegal’s residents in managing their own waste can encourage more similar innovations in other regions,” said Pawita.

Rumah Kompos, headed by manager Supardi, was first built in 2012, with the purpose of Ubud and Gianyar being free of trash, and at the time people’s awareness in taking care of their own trash was quite low. The first priority was dealing with household waste in Padangtegal, and thanks to the support of village leaders and notable public figures they were able to create Rumah Kompos.

Supardi said that the trash will not be collected by Rumah Kompos unless it’s sorted out first. “It’s difficult, for sure, and at first a lot of the residents were angry because no one had taken their garbage. But through perseverance now we’re happy to say that people are now sorting their own trash before we take it away to Rumah Kompos.”

Rumah Kompos is also assisted by volunteer foreign tourists, and once a week they take students on a stroll along the river bank and several public facilities to collect the trash.

“Before the river was like the ‘supermarket’ of trash—a variety of waste could be found there and it was very dirty, but now that sight is no more,” Supardi concluded.