Closed Loop Cycle : Kampong to Kampong

Written by Astrid Vidya Primadhani & Mohadasseh Maktabifard . Graduated Student from Department of Architecture in University of Indonesia.

Visualise a morning in which Sate Padang breakfast is served in one of the local Rumah Makan Padang at Kampong Rawa Barat that is well-known for their organic chickens and well-produced water spinach. Evidence to support for this position can be found in the banana wrapping of the Sate. A natural smooth wrapping that not only protects the food from any bugs and dryness but also from existing harmful chemicals and microorganisms that can cause consumer illness. Given, the advantages of organic banana leaves outline previously, it is quite predictable that such a carbon-based and non-genetically modified (non-GMO) element cannot move and rest in the waste tanks for the rest of its life and that man in uniform who is walking towards the warung is a token for this claim.

The first step in the closed loop recycling system is collection. To put it simply, collection is when consumers toss recyclable products into their curb-side bins or take them to a local drop-off centre. Ideally, collected materials are processed at recycling facilities and prepared to be sold to manufacturers. But today is a different. Today these collectors will take warung’s non-GMO leftovers to the next station, ‘station of shredding’. There appears then to be a simple yet different way of treating our left-overs. This is the stage that the shreds turn into poultry bedding. Certainly, there is no shortage of disagreement within the role of organic poultry and planting in the kampongs. A green local method to home-grow primitive elements to cook, an enchanting Indonesian Ayam Kremes alongside with sauted water spinach.

However there are further points to be considered. The point of what to do with the used poultry beddings, cardboard shreds and all the elements that have already been benefited. Which lead to the third step of the closed loop recycling system, a wormery composting system stations throughout the kampong. When this fell through, we will meet a couple of men in uniform whose job is to collect the produced compost from vermicompost tanks and transfer them to the small-scale fish farm to raise edible catfishes. This part of the day is when we see involvements with existing catfish farmers in order to not only empower the existing economical characters of the kampong, but also to achieve huge successes in getting teenagers and housewives involved in more productive yet sustainable pursuits of their Kampung environment.

Existing Catfish Tanks, photo by the authors.

Furthermore, the idea is develop by adding another concern about the needs to involve the existing economical characters in this closed loop cycle of life, so as to improve the existing entrepreneurial business models. It will not be surprising that we end our journey with a tasteful Lele Goreng in the same familiar Rumah Makan Padang that we started our day at. We see that the present entrepreneurial business plans such as home-grown chicken, local organic vegetable growth and organic catfish production for local use and it is hoped that these three batch productions successfully demonstrate the potential to turn a waste material into a high value product while yielding numerous social, economic and environmental benefits.

Historically, the environment of Kampung Rawa Barat was dominated by swampland. Throughout time, the gradual settlement of people changed the landscape as migrants from Java and outside of Java gradually found home in a once wet and green earth. The function of the swamp that used to be an ecosystem to protect against floods, filter pollution, fertilize agricultural land, absorb carbon and mitigate the increase of seawater is lost due to the change of land use as a settlement. The lush swamp that acted as a rich ecosystem with living organisms and mangroves was a distant dream, transformed into a gathering of human beings, asphalt and concrete. As the previous organisms depended on the plants that grew in the swamp, Kampung Rawa residents depend on the concrete structures that they have built in which they trade and receive profit. A variety of eateries, hairdressers, tailor and other businesses can be seen bustling with life. The residual heat of the afternoon sun that is absorbed by the concrete can be felt in the evening, providing the residents with a sense of longing for an environment that is as green as the previous ecosystem of Kampung Rawa Barat. The unfertile soil does not undermine their spirit to grow crops, a bamboo structure above the river provides a refreshing scenery. The rain that falls at night time hydrates the water pumpkin plants and the following day fresh vegetables are ready for harvest. The residents of Kampung Rawa Barat habitually plant and grow their own food.


Existing Bamboo Structure for Producing Edible Vegetables, photo by the authors.

This is a fictional narrative of a day that we spend in the kampong illustrate the activities and objects that occur in Kampung Rawa Barat if the idea of Closed Loop System could be implemented someday. Closed Loop System : Kampong to Kampong is an inspired example of how linear wasteful systems can be transformed into closed loop systems that produce no waste and yield much greater productivity. Initiated by small businesses that gear up the economic needs of the majority of the 400 families at Kampung Rawa Barat, the scheme starts as a way of involving people in recycling food waste, paper and cardboard used as food wrapping takeaway. The waste material was shredded so that it could be sold to equestrian centres as poultry bedding.

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