Indonesia Expat

20,000 Volunteers Come Together for a Cleaner Jakarta, Thousands More Join Across Nation

On Sunday, October 16, the fourth annual Clean Up Jakarta Day took place, with 20,000 volunteers and joined by celebrities and public figures – all coming together in an effort to clean up the capital.

The annual gotong royong event, Clean Up Jakarta Day took place on Sunday, October 16. The event was attended by approximately 20,000 volunteers from all walks of life, who gathered together to clean up at 53 locations across the capital – including two in Tangerang – on this very special Sunday morning. The mission of Clean Up Jakarta Day is to raise awareness of the problem of littering and trash, as well as educate volunteers about the importance of implementing the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – into their daily lives.

Volunteers weighing their recycable litter on the dinas kebersihan truck
Volunteers weighing their recycable litter on the dinas kebersihan truck

Volunteers, dubbed ‘Clean Up Heroes’, were educated to separate recyclable from non-recyclable litter as they cleaned. Working closely with Dinas Kebersihan DKI (the capital’s sanitation department), each clean-up location was accompanied by two trucks: one for organic and mixed waste, and one for recyclable waste. All waste collected was weighed, with the grand total of approximately 80,000kg (80 tonnes) of waste collected from the streets and gutters at 53 sites in North, East, South, West and Central Jakarta, and approximately 3,000 kg that were delivered to the city’s Bank Sampah (waste banks) for further sorting and recycling.

The event was used to launch Dinas Kebersihan DKI’s new recycling collection initiative, led by Governor Ahok and his pasukan orange. The capital is now in possession of 80 recycling trucks, which will be used to collect recyclable waste from residences and office towers for further sorting at the city’s many waste banks in an effort to reduce the amount of trash that ends up at Bantar Gebang, the largest landfill in Indonesia. This new initiative hopes to be underway by the beginning of 2017.

Ali Maulana Hakim, Deputy Head of Dinas Kebersihan DKI Jakarta, made an appearance at Gelora Bung Karno stadium, one of the main clean-up sites in Jakarta, which had over 1,500 volunteers.

“I hope that Clean Up Jakarta Day can be an inspiration for other regions in Indonesia to do the same thing,” he said. “This is an initiative that gathers the government, the people, and corporations for the dream of a cleaner and better Jakarta.”  

All types of celebrities could be seen cleaning up on Clean Up Jakarta Day, including ambassador of Clean Up Jakarta Day, actor and TV presenter Mike Lewis. Lewis believes we all have to be held accountable for our actions. He said, “It starts with you, and if everyone takes that challenge on, we will finally see a change; we will finally see a clean Jakarta.”

Volunteers from Mahaka Media in Gelora Bung Karno
Volunteers from Mahaka Media in Gelora Bung Karno

Other TV celebrities included comedy actress and TV host Maya Wulan, as well as TV show actors from abroad, Langston Hues and John Packer. Sunday’s event also saw the likes of business moguls Sandiaga Uno, who is now running for Governor of Jakarta, and Edwin Soeryadjaya getting their hands dirty for the cause. These public figures cleaned up with thousands of volunteers at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium from 6am to 9am on Sunday.

Adding to the colossal clean-up in the capital, alongside Clean Up Jakarta Day, Bandung held its first official Clean Up Day at the same time, gathering the support of nearly 2,000 volunteers in the city once known as the ‘Paris of the East’. Volunteers cleaned at ten locations, also separating recyclable from non-recyclable litter in an event supported by the local government and organized by NGO Peduli Ciptaan.

North of Java, on the island’s bigger sister, nearly 20,000 volunteers came together at the second annual Clean Up Tabalong Day, an event organized by PT Adaro Energy. Okty Damayanti started the initiative in Tabalong, which is now fully supported by the local government. She said volunteers in Tabalong are proud to be part of a large-scale movement. She added, “We are all coming together because we believe in a better Tabalong, and a better Indonesia.”

In Bali and surrounding islands, volunteers from the community Trash Hero, an NGO that runs regular clean-ups, dedicated their weekly clean-ups to Jakarta’s cause in Komodo, Amed, Candidasa and Sanur. In Flores’ Labuan Bajo, team leader Sofia Tedestam and several other volunteers collected 151 kg of trash. Tedestam believes that the problem of trash is a global one. “Plastic and other harmful materials are polluting our land, rivers and sea,” she said. “Clean-ups are one way to raise awareness and a good way to connect with like-minded people.”

Clean Up Jakarta Day 2016 was sponsored by Coca Cola Amatil, PT Adaro Energy, Risco Energy Group, Danone Aqua and PT Trakindo Utama. The event is organized by Indonesia Expat and works together with Dinas Kebersihan DKI Jakarta and Dinas Pendidikan DKI Jakarta.

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Video via Clean Up Jakarta Day

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