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Jakarta Post

The faces behind Jakarta’s piling waste

  • Caitlin Archbold and Bianca Banchetti

    Contributor

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 13 2018   /  12:28 am
Last effort: A child walks on top of a pile of rubble in Kampung Akuarium, North Jakarta on Monday. Although their houses have been destroyed, several residents are still living in the area.(JP/P.J. Leo)(JP/P.J. Leo)

Last effort: A child walks on top of a pile of rubble in Kampung Akuarium, North Jakarta on Monday. Although their houses have been destroyed, several residents are still living in the area.(JP/P.J. Leo)On a side street of Jakarta, workers dig their shovels into mounds of waste. They comb through the piles to sort out what to take to landfill, an important job in a city with scarce formal recycling systems.

Nearby, vendors sell food and drinks to drivers passing by. The smell of waste does not bother them — this is their normal.

Effective waste management is a major challenge facing modern Jakarta. Rapid population growth over the past 30 years has resulted in increased waste production.

Greeneration Foundation estimates the city produces 6,500 tons of waste per day. Often forgotten is the daily reality of the people impacted the most by this waste — the urban...