Research on FISIPOL UGM Waste Management




I.1 Research Background


“The deadly landslide at the Leuwigajah landfill near Bandung, Indonesia,

 struck on February 22,2005,… .

More than 140 people were killed and at least 69 houses destroyed.”[1]

                                                                        -Neole MacMillan-


            The sentence above shows us how the waste can be very dangerous to the humankind. However, we must keep in mind that the Leuwigajah tragedy was caused by human themselves. Leuwigajah landfill is the final waste disposal (TPA) for some areas surrounding. The waste from the whole surrounding areas was piled up to the TPA Leuwigajah without good waste management. At that time, volume of the waste was over the optimum volume in the disposal place. In the result, after three days of heavy rains, the tragedy took place. Some 2.7 million cubic meter of garbage, hazardous waste, and mud swept like avalanche through the villages Cilmius and Cireundeu.

            The Leuwigajah tragedy is a proof that deficient Indonesia’s waste management imposes major costs in health and environmental impacts. Urban areas of Indonesia generate about 55,000 tons of solid waste everyday in which only about 50-60% of the waste is collected, and landfill sites are mostly open dumps. It can cause deaths, serious illness, and diminish quality of life. Some diseases are also widespread due to deficient waste management. Dengue fever and malaria for example, are spread by mosquitoes that breed in pools of standing water. The contaminated water is also caused many kind of diseases. The improper waste management also causes some environmental damage. Land, water we drink, and the air we breathe are sometimes polluted by some substances from the waste we produce.

            Based on the fact that there are so many bad effects of deficient waste management, we’re interested to raise this matter in a faculty scale in our project.     



I.2 Problem

“FISIPOL has ever been one of top clean faculties

in UGM Cleanness Competition in 1994.”[2]

(Mr. Rahardjo)


            The statement above is a nice news for the faculty we study in was included as one of the cleanest faculties in the university. Since FISIPOL has ever been awarded as the cleanest faculty, we’re interested to observe more about its waste management. The clean competition was basically only based on the ‘outlook’ of each faculty. Going deeper and further, we’re challenged to observe waste management in FISIPOL as the faculty which has ever been top clean faculty. The waste management here doesn’t only involve the authorized party dealing with faculty’s waste management, but it involves all stakeholders in FISIPOL. Simply, the question that we’re going to answer through the research is “what is (are) the deficiency(s) of FISIPOL waste management?” 


I.3 Research Purpose

            This research is addressed to arrange our advocacy plan dealing with FISIPOL waste management, to fulfill one of requirements in class of Seminar on the Environment.


I.3 Conceptual Frameworks

A. The Tragedy of the Commons

            The concept of the tragedy of the commons was introduced by Garrett Hardin. The concept is a picture of the phenomenon which often takes place relating to the use of common goods[3]. In the book of International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues 8th edition, Garrett Hardin describes tragedy of the commons through the herdsman case who add his animal to his herd. As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain; each herdsman will consider what the utility of adding one more animal to his herd is. The utility has one positive and negative component.

            The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal.[4] The additional animal will grow fatter, so the herdsman will gain more benefit from the additional animal. The positive component is nearly +1.  While the negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal. Since, however, the effects of overgrazing are shared by all the herdsmen, the negative component for any particular decision-making herdsman is only a fraction of -1. By considering the components, a rational herdsman will conclude that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. But this conclusion is reached by each and every rational herdsman. Every herdsman adds one animal to his herd whereas the grasses are limited in number. For instance, the tragedy is happening. In a given time, the grass supply will be over and all the herdsmen will suffer much loss than they think.


B. 3-R Concept

            3-R means reduce, reuse, and recycle. It is the way to manage waste properly. Reduce means how we prevent the production of waste, reuse means we can use something we’ve used for more than one time if it is possible, and recycle means we try to alter something which can’t be used again to become something useful. 3-R concept is very important to realize a good waste management system. 3-R can reduce many problems caused by the deficient waste management in the context of social, economic, and environment.


B. Sustainable Development

“Development that meets the needs of the present

without compromising the ability of future generations

to meet their own needs.”[5]

— Laporan Brundtland “Our Common Future”


This is the definition of sustainable development brought by United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). The concept was introduced by UNEP on 1987 through its report under the title Our Common Future. Sustainable development is based on two interrelated concepts. First, concept of the need, which is trying to save the need fulfillment (particularly the basic needs) for all society. Second, concept of limitation, which is trying to pay more attention and save the environmental capacity in fulfilling the needs of today’s and future generations. Relating to the concept of need, concept of limitation describes that the environmental capacity in fulfilling human’s need is not unlimited. Environmental has its own peak in fulfilling the human’s need. Therefore, the limitation is needed so that the environment will be able to run its function for either present or future generations.

In a practical realm, sustainable development is required to fulfill the environmental, economic, and social values. The human needs fulfillment by over exploiting so damage the environment for example, can’t be called as sustainable development. In essence, sustainable development is a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.[6]

[1] MacMillan, Neole. Community Solutions for Indonesia’s Waste. Providence: International Development Research Centre (IDRC). 2007, 29. Apr. 2008. pg 1


[2] The statement was stated by Mr. Rahardjo, an authorized official dealing with FISIPOL waste management in our interview to him on Monday, April 28, 2008.

[3] Common goods contains a competition character, so the use by one actor will reduce the function of a resource for other actors. Look on the diktat mata kuliah Strategi 2007, Jurusan Ilmu Hubungan Internasional, FISIPOL-UGM.

[4] Art, Robert J. dan Robert Jervis. 2007. International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues 8th edition. New York: Pearson Education Inc. p. 496

[5] Freedom 21 Santa Cruz. ”Understanding Sustainable Development –Agenda 21- A Guide for Public Officials”.



[6] Handbook of Seminar on the Environment class.

I.4 Research Methods

The research has used two kind of data, quantitative and qualitative. The research was conducted by two people: me and Suci (my Seminar on the Environment classmate).

1.      Quantitative Data

            That is the data which deals with numbers representing situation or condition of the respondents. We used sampling method to get the quantitative data. This method was addressed to know FISIPOL stakeholders (we only take students as our sample for our project will be basically addressed to students) awareness toward waste and their opinion on FISIPOL waste management. The students were divided based on their department: Communication, Governance, International Relations, State Administration, Sociatry, and Sociology. We took 15 students from each department as our sample. Therefore, the number of our sample is 90 peoples to represent 2432 peoples. In getting data from the sample, we used closed questionnaires.

2.      Qualitative Data

This does not involve counting and dealing with numbers but is based more on information expressed in words – descriptions, accounts, opinions, feelings etc.[1] The qualitative data was gotten from the interview to the FISIPOL waste management-related official. We also conduct field study by observing the condition in FISIPOL.

[1] Walliman, Nicholas. 2005. Your Undergraduate Dissertation: The Essential Guide for Success. London: Sage Publications. Hlm. 187.


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