medical waste management

Tens of thousands of tonnes of extra medical waste from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic have put tremendous strain on health care waste management systems around the world, threatening human and environmental health and exposing a dire need to improve waste management practices, according to a new WHO report.

Mountain of Waste due to COVID-19
Plastic Gloves waste
discarded syringes
Covid PPE kit
Face Mask Waste
old vaccine bottles and Medical Hazardous Laboratory Waste
used Covid-testing kits

Meet the Researchers

Hi, welcome to our page! 

We are Grade 5 students and we welcome to you get to know our research which is about medical waste management. We were so curious about why there are mountains of medical waste that we can easily found as we pass the street. Here, we are proudly tell you about how is it happening and what we can do to decrease the medical waste due to COVID-19.

Hi, I'm Benzy!

During the exhibition journey, I feel nervous, happy, scared, and excited at the same time because we are going to have a lot of practices.

Hi, I'm Sam!

During the exhibition journey, I feel happy, stress, and a little bit nervous since we faced a lot of challenges.

Hi, I'm Zhilzi!

I am happy because we learn and do experiment together. It is also challenging since we faced many challenge throughout the journey.

Hi, I'm Kayla!

This process has made me enjoyed because of we need to research more and thinking about what we have to do next. However, I thought it is going to help me in the future.

Hi, I'm Miyuki!

I feel really stressed and excited at the same time because we have specified time to finish our exhibition preparation.

Hi, I'm Nasha!

I feel excited to learn more throughout the journey, yet it is also very challenging seeing the progress of our exhibition journey.

Meet the Mentors

We are so thankful and excited to be part of this journey. Seeing how the students’ came up with a small issue but matters a lot. Seeing them end up with a creative and innovative type of action.

On the other hand, it was also so challenging; realizing that we have to conduct mentor meetings, experiment, and interview the experts online and offline (hybrid learning). Overall, we really are proud mentors witnessing the students reach their goals. 

(Ms. Riani, Ms. Widi, Ms. Nana)

How the World Works

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; and the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

Central Idea

How society awareness of managing medical waste to be safe for the environmental health and human society.

Learning Outcomes

(1) Identify (2) Investigate (3) Implement

Key Concepts


Related Concepts

(1) Medical Waste
(2) Management
(3) Sanitation
(4) Environment

Lines of Inquiry

(1) How to manage medical waste properly. (Function) (2) The connection of material used to make medication (mask) with the environment. (Connection) (3) How people show their responsibility regarding to their medical waste. (Responsibility)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG No. 3: Good Health and Well-Being

SDG No. 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG No. 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Al Qur'an Verse

QS. Al-A’raf (7): 85

Janganlah kamu berbuat kerusakan di bumi setelah (diciptakan) dengan baik. Itulah yang lebih baik bagimu jika kamu orang beriman.”

QS. Al-Qasas (28): 77

“Dan carilah (pahala) negeri akhirat dengan apa yang telah dianugerahkan Allah kepadamu, tetapi janganlah kamu lupakan bagianmu di dunia dan berbuat baiklah (kepada orang lain) sebagaimana Allah telah berbuat baik kepadamu, dan janganlah kamu berbuat kerusakan di bumi.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed to a dramatic challenge to public health. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the government and local environmentalists have warned people about the dangers of infectious waste.

On the surface of waste mountains, we discovered there lies a growing amount of toxic medical waste. Everything hidden in plain sight. From blood-filled drip lines to masks, medical gloves, and COVID-19 tests, there are mountains of them. All waste that has been caused by the patients, suspects, caregivers, people who do not have symptoms, and medical officers.

On the other hand, we frequently see the medical waste simply thrown away on the road, in ditches, along the coast, and even in the sea ecosystem, trapping many sea animals and plants.

To explore more about this issue, we gathered information about what has recently occurred in the world, particularly in Indonesia, as well as how to manage the medical waste.


Using articles related to COVID-19 medical waste, we were able to identify globally significant issues. The next step is to write down our ideas in a graphic organizer or mind map about how medical waste management is important during this pandemic situation.

Identifying Globally Significant Issues

Exploring, Wondering, and Questioning

Determining Timing and Time Frame

Making Connections between Previous Learning and Current Learning

We discussed each step and formulate a timeline to ensure that the project runs well. To gain a better comprehension, we also invited the experts to share their perspectives on current situation of medical waste and how the government manages it. We plan to take an action within the specified time frame one we gathered enough information.

The Learning Continuums

Grade 1

The choices people make affect their health and wellbeing

Grade 4

Children worldwide face a variety of challenges and risk

Grade 5

Understanding of scientific knowledge is constantly evolving and has an impact on human life

Our Learning Goals and Success Criteria

Learning Goals

  • Able to manage medical waste properly (function)
  • Show responsibility regarding to medical waste (responsibility)

Success Criteria

  • Students able to recycle medical waste (mask)
  • Students able to manage medical waste (mask)
  • Students able to connect the experiment in their daily lives

the Guest Speakers

The National Research and Innovation Agency (Indonesian: Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional, BRIN) 

B3 Waste Management Sub-Coordinator Staff  (Indonesian: Staf Sub Koordinator Urusan Pengelolaan Limbah B3)

Engaging Support from the Learning Community

Collecting Data and Reporting Findings or Researching and Seeking Information

To answer all of our questions we collected in Step 1, we invited the experts in about medical waste through a virtual interview. They are Ibu Rossy (from BRIN) and Kak Uthie (from DLH). We gained many new insights about the things we are curious about, the experiment, and something we could possibly do during this pandemic situation.

After we did the virtual interview with the experts, we made reflections to share our points of view about the knowledge. through a graphic organizer to get to know more about this topic.

Organizing Learning

Experimenting and Playing with Possibilities Solving Problems in a Variety of Way

Insights and notes we gathered from mentor meetings and virtual interview sessions, we decided to created 2 experiment. EXPERIMENT 1: Biodegradable mask. We buried 3 types of masks and see if it changes. As a result, it shows that our masks take longer than a month to break. EXPERIMENT 2: Homemade disinfectant. We make disinfectant using materials at home. Other than the experiments, we also recycling our self-mask by turn it into a pouches.

Recycling Self-Mask

Experiment 1: Biodegradable Mask

Experiment 2: Creating Homemade Disinfectant


Parents-Mentors Meeting

Monitoring the Exhibition

Taking and Depending a Position

We monitor the progress of our exhibition project by joining a mentor meeting three times a week with all members and all mentors. We put ideas we had during discussions, share ideas, and suggestions from our mentors and the experts through the exhibition journal.


We already understand and know more about medical waste problems and solutions. We also did our experiment and action.

  • How to manage medical waste.
  • Ways to recycle medical waste.
  • Why medical waste is important or become a problem to us in the pandemic.

When we did our experiment, action, and when we try to
recycle the masks that we already used.

Sharing the Exhibition

Establishing and Testing Theories

We decided to do action of advocacy and lifestyle choice. The Advocacy is when we created to make a poster about how to disinfect our mask properly and created some bottles of disinfectants. We shared the poster we have made to Al Jabr Community. We also put the poster, disinfectant, and mask bin in front of Al Jabr sick bay. The Lifestyle Choice is when we collected our self-masks and disinfected it properly. After that, we stored to ZERO WASTE drop box so it can be recycled properly.


Guest Speakers:

  • Rossy Choerun Nissa, S. T., M. Biotek (BRIN)
  • Hikmah Kurniaputri, S. T. (DLH)

Medical Waste:

  • (COVID-19: Indonesia’s growing medical waste problem)