Translations available

The kingdom of Bantar Gebang

Towering mountains of malodorous, contaminated waste dominate the horizon, and among them, hundreds of families make their living. One young girl had the chance to leave the landfill and to gain an education. Now she has chosen to return, determined to change the lives of those children less fortunate than her.

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” 

— Mahatma Gandhi

On the Indonesian island of Java, twenty kilometers from the fast-growing capital city Jakarta, is a malodorous, contaminated world with towering hills of half-decomposed waste, that stretches as far as the eye can see.

This monstrosity is Bantar Gebang, the largest uncovered landfill site in Southeast Asia. It is also home to over 3,000 families, many with young children, who make a living amongst the garbage, scavenging what they can.

Jakarta, home to over 10 million people, produces more than 7,000 square metres of garbage per day — a figure that is still growing — and every year hundreds of thousands of tons of trash are indiscriminately dumped here, in the nearby district of Bekasi, at the massive Bantar Gebang landfill.

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