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Jakarta Post

Ignorance, lack of protection could be fatal for garbage collectors

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Bandung   /   Thu, September 19, 2019   /  10:08 am
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A sanitation agency worker sorts through trash in a West Jakarta dump. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Residents of Bandung, West Java, were shocked several months ago by the death of garbage collector Wawan Hermawan and the serious illness of his friend, Udin Samsudin. Wawan died from a tetanus infection while his friend Udin suffered a blockage of blood vessels in the brain – both believed to have been the result of their daily handling of various types of waste without any proper protection. Wawan used his cart to collect garbage from community unit (RW) 09 in Sukaluyu subdistrict. One day, he stepped on something sharp but left the wound untreated. Unbeknownst to him, the wound became infected by tetanus bacteria, which eventually killed Wawan. He is survived by his wife, three children and two grandchildren. Udin also works as a trash collector in Sukaluyu. Despite being around the foul stench of waste all day, every day, Udin said he never wore masks on the job b...