There is an issue of garbage justice in my neighbourhood. Real and almost (!) literally thrown in my face.
At an empty plot facing the main street, used as a parking lot by a rich and famous modern batik brand next door, they routinely burn garbage, sending huge amount of smelly and thick smoke into my in-block neighbourhood behind the main street. At an alley branching from my street, some poor families from the same block regularly secretly pile garbage, apparently because Pak RT did not send garbage collectors to their addresses as they might not have paid the neighbourhood due.
The rich and the poor: They seem to have developed their own garbage solution. But what about me and my fellow street neighbours, that have to suffer consequences from both of them? We pay our dues to Pak RT, and so our garbage are collected. My garden waste I kept inside my yards to naturally decompost.
I found out my neighbourhood is not an isolated case. Even on the prestigious Jalan Diponegoro, Menteng, the plots of the rich and famous also burnt their garden waste. What a shame, if you think about this elegant, most beautiful historical neighbourhood of Menteng. The thing is that these plots on Jalan Diponegoro, and most of Menteng, have large front and back yards, at least large enough to make a one meter deep of 4 square meters hole to compost at least their garden waste, to save it from burning them and polluting the whole city with it.
Wiping away the garden waste into city drains, such as often done my our street cleaners, I am afraid to say, is neither a solution, and could potentially clog the city drains that are already suffering from years of lack of maintenance. A study by Dutch experts assigned by the World Bank discovered that many drains and canals in Jakarta are left with only 30-60% capacity because of sedimentation and zero dredging for decades).
I think every family, rich or poor, has to really start as much as possible from their own respective homes to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle garbage. At least not to burn them, especially when they have close-by neighbours. The fact that we are a tropical city with trees growing so easily, garden waste should really be a prority to decompost naturally.