Caring for the Environment, IAAS LC UB Cleans Brantas River

Students picking up trash in Brantas Muharto River

As a form of concern for environmental cleanliness, especially rivers, the International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Science Local Committee (IAAS LC) Brawijaya University (UB) carried out a cleanliness project in Brantas River area, Saturday (21/10/2023).

The location of Brantas River area in Polehan sub-district segment of Muharto Street, Malang City was chosen as the target for the activity since it is located in the city center, and the riverbank is a residential area so it is often polluted with household waste.

This activity was carried out to encourage the public, especially students, to care more about the environment in accordance with PP No. 22 of 2021 states that river water quality standards must contain zero waste. This activity also ensures that there is no rubbish that clogs the river flow so that worse flooding does not occur.

One of the volunteers from BEM FEB UB said, “The first time I saw this river, it felt like it was impossible for us to clean it, because it looked like the rubbish had piled up so much, the river water was almost no longer visible.”

Colleaglee is the first river cleanliness project implemented by IAAS LC UB. Colleaglee is implemented as a form of IAAS LC UB branding based on environmental care activities. Through this activity, IAAS collaborates with an environmental care community, namely the Environmental Green Society (Envigreen Society) by inviting all students in Malang City as volunteers for activities. Another hope for holding the Colleaglee IAAS activity is to get more support from the rectorate, environmental services and also Malang City government to be more concerned about the quality and condition of rivers.

The preparation process for this activity began in August. With a total of 41 volunteers, 10 committee members and 10 local residents. This river clean up activity starts at 7.30 WIB and ends at 9.30 WIB. The waste is transported to the landfill by a fleet in collaboration with Malang City Environmental Service.

The Submission of Awards to the Head of the Village



The Condition of Brantas River, Malang City

The Brantas River in Malang City flows from Lowokwaru District to Kedung Kandang passing through urban and residential areas. Environmental Green Society research survey data on October 1 2023 found 65 small, medium and high waste generation points along the banks of Brantas River, Malang City.

The City Government should utilize riverbanks as Green Open Space (RTH) to maintain the quality of river ecosystems and reduce the load of pollutants discharged into rivers. The distance between riverbanks and settlements is too close and the lack of adequate waste management in riverbank areas forces people who live on riverbanks to throw their rubbish into the river. Transporting waste from residents’ homes to inadequate TPS, especially in residential areas along rivers, needs attention from the government and related agencies.

According to the head of the local RT, government agencies carried out rubbish regularly in the river previously, but because the rubbish trucks that parked every morning caused traffic jams on the road, many residents did not agree and eventually the routine dumping gradually stopped operating.

The Impact of Garbage in Brantas River

The condition of Brantas River on this segment of Jalan Muharto often becomes a concern for local drivers who are crossing the bridge over the river because it is very lacking in terms of aesthetics, even though in fact it can be improved to be better with the awareness of residents, the government and all city residents.

The dominant waste found was organic waste, single-use plastic packaging and household products. Organic matter content that exceeds capacity can affect the quality of the river water itself and the biota that lives in it. In addition, the danger of plastic waste is the potential for the plastic to turn into small microplastic particles which can accidentally be consumed by river biota and have the potential to contaminate the human body.

Brantas River is a national strategic river that is used by more than 18 million East Java residents who live in Brantas watershed. The impact of the poor condition of Brantas River itself cannot be directly felt by residents in upstream or highland areas such as Malang City. However, residents in downstream/lowland areas such as Surabaya who use Brantas River water as raw material for PDAM will feel the impact because the quality of river water is no longer good from the flow in upstream areas such as Malang City.

Waste Management and Waste Reduction to deal with waste thrown into the river

It is hoped that in the future, after carrying out the Clean up activity of Brantas River in Muharto Street segment, the government and the public will become more aware to pay more attention to the condition of Brantas River.

The government needs to pay more attention to transporting waste from people’s homes to TPS, especially for people along river banks, so that residents get a solution to not throw any more waste into the river.

The head of the local sub-district said he really appreciated the students’ sensitivity towards river cleanliness, and even emphasized that they would continue the action to clean Brantas River in the future, not just once.

“Of course I would be very happy if there were students like them who carried out river clean-up activities like this, I hope it can be continued. I and the residents here will help prepare everything necessary, the government can also support this activity by providing support in the form of tools or food for students who have taken the time to carry out this activity,” he said.

The implementation of regulations such as limiting single-use plastics and sorting waste from home can also reduce the volume of waste produced by the community so that it cannot be released into river areas. Moreover, the role of students as agents of change in Malang City also needs to be increased, especially for the community around the campus environment in the form of community service to help solve the waste problem in Malang City. [IAAS/Irene/ UB PR/ Trans. Iir]