The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
A "magical waste bin" designed to compress organic waste has seen three Indonesian students named as finalists in an international inventors competition in Goteborg, Sweden.
The young team from Indonesia is made up of Agnes Santoso, 21, Vania Santoso, 15, and Wening Pranayadipta, 15. The team is one of 15 invited to present their work in Sweden on May 31.
Agnes said their waste bin idea was supposed to be user- and environmentally friendly.
The invention was called the magic waste bin because with it they could produce fertilizer from organic waste in a magically easy way, she said.
"We wanted it to be easy to use," Agnes said.
"The bin doesn't have to be expensive, but it has to be perforated to allow oxygen in," the law student from Airlangga University in Surabaya told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
Vania Santoso said it was easy to create a magic bin.
The first step is to perforate the bin, she said.
"Then you find two burlap (natural fiber/Hessian) bags, one to be placed in the bottom of the bin, while the second is used to cover the top of the organic waste put into the bin.
"The bags are meant to hold in the moisture.
"The bin should have a lid of some kind," she said, explaining a cardboard box would do.
"We cut the organic waste into small pieces for placement in the bin.
"Then we stir the waste, which should be kept at about 60 Celsius degrees, every day.
"After two months, we remove the resulting fertilizers and sieve and aerate it.
"Then it is ready to use," said Vania, who is in the ninth grade at Petra Lima Junior High School of Surabaya.
Wening Pranayadipta -- or Dipta, said their community welcomed their cleanliness projects.
Besides the waste bin project, the team also recycles inorganic waste into bags, souvenirs and toys.
The Surabaya municipality administration has given its support to the project by donating choppers and other equipment.
"The projects have decreased the amount of waste in Surabaya by one third, or 88,600 cubic meters per month," said Dipta, a ninth grader of Ciputra Junior High School in Surabaya.
She said people in one sub-district could get two tons of compost per month from 1,218 cubic meters of waste using the magic bin.
In another sub-district, people were able to make as much as Rp 8 million (US$ 889) per month from recycling inorganic waste into souvenirs, while reducing the 1.1 tons of waste usually produced in the area by 80 percent.