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Jakarta Post

From gas cylinders to refrigerators: People see value in floodwater at Manggarai sluice gate

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 3, 2020   /   01:34 pm
From gas cylinders to refrigerators: People see value in floodwater at Manggarai sluice gate A worker clears up garbage using a floor squeegee taped to a stick at the Manggarai sluice gate in South Jakarta on Monday. The increased water level in the Ciliwung River has caused garbage to pile up at the gate. (The Jakarta Post/Seto Wardhana)

The massive floods that hit Jakarta on Wednesday swept away not only waste but also reusable household appliances, such as TVs and refrigerators. As a result, people were lining up at the Manggarai sluice gate in Central Jakarta to collect such items.

Benjon, a resident of Penggangsaan district, had come to the gate on Thursday to collect items to resell.

"I got three used 19-liter water bottles and a helmet. That’s a pretty good deal when sold to scavengers: Rp 15,000 per bottle," he said as quoted by kompas.com.

Benjon said it was a routine custom for him to collect reusable items from the gate, especially after a flood.

"I used to come to this gate all the time to pick up used items that could be resold. Now, I seldomly do it; I usually just watch other people pick up items or collect small items for myself," he added.

The sluice gate was filled with children and adults on Thursday afternoon. Didi S. of the Sanitation Implementation Unit of the East Jakarta Water Agency Office said the waste volume at the gate was quite high at 900 cubic meters. Most of it was household waste, such as styrofoam, plastic products and wood. Among this waste, TVs, gas cylinders and refrigerators were also found.

Another resident, Sulami, said she had come to the gate to watch people collect the items. She said many of the collectors would sell their items to scavengers, adding that TVs and refrigerators could be sold at between Rp 80,000 and Rp 100,000.

"The system is first come, first serve. That's why many residents have been waiting for this moment," she said. (ars)