Tuesday September 3rd, 2019
There were 105,4 kilograms of waste collected by Tzu Chi Secondary students, which was shocking since the event was only went on for an hour. From the 105,4 kilograms of waste, there were 39 kilograms of recyclable waste, and 66,4 kilograms of non-recyclable waste.
‘I am quite surprised by the outcome since I have always thought the school’s environment is very neat and clean. Turned out during the clean up earlier, I found so many plastic bags, cigarette butts, plastic bottles, I am utterly shock,’ said Jesslyn Alvina Lie, Grade 12 Grateful.
‘I didn't expect this much either,’ said William Owen Tanuwijaya, from Grade 12 Respect. ‘I come to school everyday in a car, so I rarely see the rubbish outside, but when I look closely and we collect them, there are so many of them.’
Similar feelings were expressed by Ms Mely Kartono,our Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) coordinator for IB programme, she had never thought there would be many rubbish around the Tzu Chi Center. ‘Before we came today, I thought “where would we go, everywhere is very clean”, but when we stepped outside the school area, there are rubbish everywhere,’ said Ms Kartono.
Students gathered and collected rubbish that were mostly hidden behind the thick bushes and flower plants. Those rubbish were mostly mixed with dry leaves and dust on the ground. Among the rubbish were: plastic food packaging, plastic mineral water glass, soft drinks bottles, cans, cigarette butts, used tissues, styrofoam boxes, plastic straws, water hose pipes, and used flip-flop.
It’s disheartening and annoying to find rubbish stuck inches between the bushes. However, despite getting angry and blame the others, Ms Kartono persuaded the students to collect them together, ‘We are fortunate to have such an event for Jakarta, so when I heard about this event, I signed up right away,’ said Ms Kartono.
Let’s Take Care of Our Jakarta
Clean Up Jakarta Day is held annually for communities, business, schools, and individuals to voluntarily work together for a cleaner Jakarta. This year marked the seventh year for the event. There are 55 locations in Jakarta, including Pantai Indah Kapuk (around Tzu Chi Secondary School are).
The event started at around 6:30 AM and ended at 7:40 AM, and was joined by over 100 enthusiastic students and staff, ‘This is our first time doing it, so we limited the number of participants to 80, with 20 committees, and a few teachers joined in. I am happy to tell you that initially we had over 200 students who signed up, but unfortunately we had to stick to the limitation,’ Ms Kartono added.
Seeing the enthusiasm of the students, Ms Kartono felt the same way. William Owen Tanuwijaya, one of the students who were enthusiastic that day, dipped his hands into the bushes a couple of times to pick up rubbish. ‘I am happy to be able to help Jakarta to be cleaner, at the very least I could help people who live around here to make their environment clean and pretty,’ he said.
For Owen, he realised collecting rubbish is not an easy job, ‘It’s definitely not as easy as when the people throw it. I am thankful for the people who have worked to clean the city, since I realise that there are so many rubbish here, I am sure there are a lot more of it in other places,’ as he praised the work of Jakarta’s public cleaner.
Jeslyn added that the small rubbish could be dangerous to some, since it could clog up the ditch, polluting our soil and water, and contribute to global warming.
Through this activity, both Owen and Jeslyn are worried about people living in the city and not care about its waste. Owen explained further, ‘Start with small things like throwing rubbish out in the right place by one person, it could make a big impact when it’s done together,’ said Owen.
Ms Kartono added, ‘As a community, we shall participate in taking care of our environment. So aside from worrying, we can do something too, even though it’s small, we can be more aware towards our environment.’
Writer: Metta Wulandari
Translated and edited by: Chrestella Budyanto