Jakarta Stories and Tips

Waste Management-Jakarta Style

Sewage Highways Photo, Jakarta, Indonesia

The single most impressive aspect of my visit to Jakarta was realizing the way in which this city deals with its refuse. It's all out in the open here, to see, smell, and in the rainy season when the sewers overflow, to wade through. From the airport on the way to the hotel I had no idea, I thought, how nice, there are little waterways meandering all throughout the city, like Venice, but with a third world flavor. It was pretty obvious by the time I had gotten close to these canals what thier primary function was. Hard as I looked I could see nothing resembling a gondola, no riverwalk cafes, nothing pleasant or romantic at all, unless maybe you're a sub-tropical microbe quickly reproducing in a river of human feces. The entire network was entirely open, the large canals ran parallel to the main streets, stretching as far as the eye could see. About forty feet wide and God knows how deep they contained dead animals, old tires and empty bottles all sitting in a dark, stagnant muck. These larger channels split off in all directions, running alonside the smaller streets. I followed the canals to their destination. At the end of this journey was the largest, most impressive sludge pit I have, and probably will ever see, waiting to move out, untreated, into the ocean.

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