Bekasi Agrees to Trash Its Objections to Jakarta’s Waste

BY :MIKAEL NIMAN

NOVEMBER 09, 2015

Jakarta. A standoff between the Jakarta and Bekasi governments that threatened to leave the capital without a dumping ground for its trash appears to have ended, with garbage trucks now free to haul waste across the municipal border.

“We have decided to allow garbage trucks from Jakarta to enter the Bantargebang landfill [in Bekasi] 24 hours a day,” Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi said on Sunday.

He added the decision was reached at a meeting between various branches of the municipal government earlier in the day.

Authorities had earlier prohibited Jakarta garbage trucks from entering Bekasi between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m., claiming that they left a bad stench in the air and were responsible for damaging the roads in the area.

The limited operating hours caused trash to pile up at the various waste-collection stations across the capital, as well as created long lines of trucks waiting to unload their waste in Bantargebang, the main landfill for both Jakarta and Bekasi.

Bekasi city councilors also tried to hold Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama personally responsible, while rent-a-mobs put up blockades to prevent trucks reaching the landfill.

The governor, backed by the police, denounced the blockades as illegal, and lashed out at the Bekasi authorities’ restriction, even threatening to sue the operators of the landfill. The Bekasi administration appears to have relented in the standoff.

“The trash controversy has become a national issue, and as a satellite city [of Jakarta] we have to address it,” Mayor Rahmat said.

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