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The mild weather at this time of year invites us to spend our leisure time outdoors,

picnicking in parks and on beaches, or camping in the desert. But too many of us are
inconsiderate towards the environment we seek to enjoy, by leaving our rubbish behind
when we go home.

It seems that any place where people gather ends up being littered with plastic bags,
bottles, styrofoam containers, food wrappers and cigarette butts. We don’t leave these
things lying around at home, so why do we do it in public places?

As Dr Mansi Desai, senior environmental officer at Emirates Environmental Group, told The
National, there is a general lack of awareness about the harm litter can cause the
environment. Litterers fail to understand the extent of the damage they are causing,
because it has no direct effect on their lives. They just drop their rubbish and move on,
believing that it is the responsibility of municipality workers to tidy up after them. But this
creates a cost in terms of manpower and time used. And when the littering is done in the
desert, at remote campsites that are not regularly serviced, it can cause enormous
environmental damage. Camels and other animals can die in agony from consuming
plastics and other waste we leave behind.

Somehow it has become acceptable for people to drop their rubbish without a thought. In
many other countries, litterers not only face fines, but they also face the wrath of their fellow
citizens who are offended by this behaviour.

There are several ways to address the problem, including on-the-spot fines and public
awareness campaigns. We could also look at imposing limits on the amount of disposable
packaging used by food outlets – does a single burger really have to be delivered in a paper
wrapper, then enclosed in a box and placed in a paper bag? Supermarkets could be
required to charge for plastic bags, encouraging people to recycle them and rethink the
need to use so many.

Moreover, the community needs to come together to condemn littering. We have seen
volunteers gather to tidy up after great national celebrations. We need to carry that attitude
– that sense of pride in our city and country – forward into everyday life. After all, a bird
doesn’t foul its own nest, and neither should we.

The rainy season is here, and the one thing Jakartans fear most is flooding.

Floods have the ability to paralyze traffic and increase the spread of
diseases. Jakarta is prone to floods due to the growing number of
buildings, the proliferation of concrete and less space for water to sink in,
among other things. But one of the biggest contributing factors to floods is
rubbish blocking the drains.

It’s one of the lessons we are supposed to learn as a child. Do not litter;
put your rubbish in the bin. But the sad thing is, once we become adults,
we either forget that lesson or we just don’t care — or maybe we are not
aware of the consequences. Some of us would say, “Yeah, yeah,
whatever,” roll our eyes and pretend to agree or understand.

Sadly, many Jakartans are chronic litterers, no matter our background —

educated or uneducated, rich or poor. I’ve seen a person chucking a plastic
bag out of a classy sedan. The last time I went to a museum in Kota Tua, I
saw a group of school children on a field trip being led by a teacher who
threw rubbish on the ground. The children copied what the teacher did,
which is a terrible education.

What’s so hard about throwing your rubbish in the bin? Are people in this
city that lazy? People usually presume that when they litter, someone else
will clean up after them because they think there are people who get paid
to clean up the mess. What if there was nobody there to clean up after

What annoys me most is when I see a rubbish bin in a public space and it’s
empty, but there is rubbish around the bin. Here’s a tip: Putting rubbish in
the bin is not in any way similar to playing basketball. You don’t aim from a
couple of meters back and try your luck to get the rubbish in the bin. In
some cases, the bins have been stolen, which is quite typical of this
country. The main material for most garbage cans here is iron, and that
sells quite well.

Recently, the Banten government announced that anyone caught littering

in public would either face six months behind bars or pay Rp 50 million
($5,500). Frankly, I thought it would be ineffective. How many people in
Banten can pay Rp 50 million? If they end up getting six months in jail, they
just sit there in their prison cell, not really contributing anything.

People who litter should do community service. What if they spent eight
hours a day cleaning the city and picking up rubbish? It would be traumatic
enough for them to stop littering, and rather than having these people do
nothing in jail, they would be useful.

So, when this city floods, please stop
blaming the government. When diseases spread, please stop saying, “This
is God being angry at us. We are being punished.” I hate it when people
say that. It’s all action and reaction.

I know that rubbish bins are shockingly rare in this city, especially around
outdoor public places (which are also shockingly rare). What if everyone
carried a small bag in their bag or car as an emergency bin? When you do
see a rubbish bin, you can dispose of your garbage there. It’s that simple.

Oleh ERNI HERAWATI (Mei 2016)

Sampah tidak hanya menjadi masalah nasional, tetapi juga masalah dunia. Di Indonesia isu sampah
selalu mengemuka saat terjadi banjir karena salah satu sebab utama terjadinya banjir adalah adanya
sampah yang menyumbat saluran air. Jumlah volume sampah di Jakarta per hari adalah sekitar 6.000
hingga 6.500 ton, sedangkan di Bali lebih besar lagi yaitu bisa mencapai jumlah 10.725 ton per hari.
Lain lagi di Palembang, jumlah volume sampah mencapai 1.200 ton per hari. Secara keseluruhan
pada tahun 2014 sampah yang dihasilkan di Indonesia perhari mencapai 175.000 ton sampah atau
jika dirata-rata setiap orang memproduksi sampah 0,7 kg per hari. Indonesiapun menduduki
peringkat penghasil sampah plastik terbesar di dunia setelah China. [1] Jumlah sampah yang
demikian besar tersebut bukan satu-satunya masalah yang berkaitan dengan sampah, tetapi ada
masalah yang lebih harus ditangani yaitu bagaimana mengatasi perilaku masyarakat yang sampai saat
ini belum memiliki perilaku untuk membuang sampah pada tempatnya. Perilaku tersebut akan
menyebabkan pengelolaan terhadap sampah menjadi semakin rumit dan sulit dicari penyelesaiannya.
Pemerintah sudah seringkali mengeluarkan kebijakan berkaitan dengan penanganan dan pengelolaan
sampah. Gerakan untuk membuang sampah di tempatnya sudah pernah dicanangkan di era Presiden
Soeharto melalui program Gerakan Disiplin Nasional (GDN) pada tahun 1995. Gerakan yang
rencananya akan dibuat dalam program jangka panjang tersebut, pada tahap pertama dititik beratkan
pada tiga hal yaitu budaya tertib, budaya bersih, dan budaya kerja. Perilaku membuang sampah pada
tempatnya masuk dalam program budaya bersih. Namun sampai berlalunya masa pemerintahan orde
baru, kesadaran akan budaya bersih tersebut tidak terlihat jejaknya.
Kebijakan mengenai penanganan sampah yang terbaru dari pemerintah kembali dicanangkan pada
Hari Peduli Sampah Nasional (HPSN) tanggal 21 Februari 2016 lalu dengan mengkampanyekan
gerakan Indonesia Bebas Sampah 2020. Gerakan ini dimulai dengan adanya kerjasama pemerintah
dengan Asosiasi Pengusaha Ritel Indonesia (Aprindo) untuk memberlakukan penggunaan kantong
plastik berbayar yaitu Rp. 200,- per kantong plastik. Tujuan dari kebijakan ini adalah agar
masyarakat tidak mudah membuang kantong plastik, ada penghematan dalam penggunaannya dengan
digunakan secara berulang-ulang. [2]
Beda lagi dengan penanganan sampah yang dilakukan oleh Pemerintah Kota Depok. Melalui Perda
Persampahan tahun 2014, Pemerintah Kota Depok menerapkan kewajiban pengelolaan sampah
mandiri oleh masyarakat. Masyarakat wajib untuk memilah sampah mereka menjadi tiga kategori
yaitu: sampah organik, sampah nonorganik, dan sampah residu. Hanya sampah organik (yang
dikumpul oleh masyarakat dalam satu tempat khusus) yang akan diangkut oleh petugas kebersihan.
Sampah non-organik harus dikelola oleh oleh masing-masing RT/RW setempat dan menjadi bank
sampah bagi masyarakat yang menyetorkan sampah mereka. Dan sampah jenis residu akan dibawa
oleh petugas Dinas Kebersihan dan Pertamanan ke tempat pembuangan sampah akhir. [3]
Pada kenyataannya, bukan hal yang mudah untuk mengajak masyarakat Kota Depok untuk
bertanggung jawab atas sampahnya sendiri. Masyarakat yang telah terbiasa membuang sampah tanpa
memilahnya terlebih dahulu, ternyata cukup sulit untuk mengubah kebiasaan tersebut. Apalagi
sampah yang tadinya hanya dibuang dalam satu tempat, sekarang harus dipilah dalam tiga kategori.
Ketika hendak membuang sampah, maka dibutuhkan waktu khusus untuk sejenak berpikir tentang
jenis sampah apakah yang akan dibuang tersebut. Proses perubahan ini bukan suatu yang sepele bagi
sebagian masyarakat. Bayangkan jika dalam satu hari seseorang harus memasukkan sampah ke
tempat sampah sebanyak sepuluh kali, maka sebanyak sepuluh kali pulalah orang tersebut harus
termenung sejenak di depan tempat sampah untuk menentukan jenis sampah apakah yang akan ia
buang tersebut. Kenyataan ini membawa cara baru bagi beberapa warga Depok untuk menyelesaikan
masalah membuang sampah, yaitu membawa sampahnya untuk dibuang di wilayah lain di luar
wilayah Depok.

Masih banyak contoh peristiwa lain yang menunjukkan bahwa masyarakat belum menganggap
sampah yang dihasilkan dalam aktivitas kehidupan mereka adalah tanggung jawab mereka. Perilaku
membuang sampah sembarangan masih menjadi penyakit sebagian besar masyarakat di Indonesia,
tidak hanya milik orang miskin tetapi juga orang kaya, bukan hanya orang-orang yang tidak
berpendidikan bahkan banyak orang yang berpendidikan masih memiliki perilaku membuang
sampah sembarangan. Oleh karena itu segala peraturan dan kebijakan yang dibuat berkenaan tentang
sampah, sebaiknya tidak hanya ditujukan sekadar adanya ketersediaan aturan tentang sampah lalu
selesai, yang paling penting adalah bagaimana menegakkan aturan bagi mereka yang melanggarnya.
Lebih jauh lagi, bagaimana peraturan tentang sampah akan dapat mengubah pemikiran masyarakat
untuk memilki cara pandang yang berbeda tentang sampah. Bahwa mereka yang menghasilkan
sampah harus bertanggung jawab untuk membuang sampah mereka sendiri pada tempatnya.
Diharapkan, pemikiran sederhana tersebut akan dapat membawa perubahan besar pada tertanganinya
masalah sampah di Indonesia. (***)
Last month alone 90 tonnes of litter was collected from across the city, and from the period
running from July 2015 to June 2016, 3361 tonnes of litter was collected with 2792 requests
for street cleaning.

Businesses across the city centre have pledged their support towards tackling the wide-spread
issue of litter across the city in a concerted effort to get the city clean for before, during and
after Hull’s year as the City of Culture 2017.

On Tuesday 16 August a number of local businesses including The Deep, Burstalls Solicitors
and Thearne’s Pet Stores will be taking part in a voluntary litter pick in the city centre to get
the city looking its best ahead of 2017.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for environmental

services, said: “We are very proud of Hull, and with 2017 just around the corner, stopping
people from spoiling the city’s landscape it is a key priority for the council.
“Littering is as unacceptable as fly tipping, and we know that residents and visitors alike are
keen to see a clean and tidy city, however this is an element of individual and collective
responsibility when it comes to littering.
“At time when councils have less and less money, individuals and businesses could at least
bin their waste responsibly so the money that is there can be used on better things than
cleaning up after litter bugs.”
The city centre bins are emptied throughout the day, seven days a week and the arterial road
bins are emptied daily.

Phil Batty, director of marketing, communities and legacy at Hull 2017, said:
“As the city prepares for its year in the spotlight it is great to see communities and
businesses coming together and taking pride in the place we call home.
“We are looking to bring 1 million extra visitors to Hull in 2017, and it is critical we keep
the city free of litter to help build on the City’s reputation as a world-class visitor
“By pulling together, respecting fellow citizens and all playing our part; we can help to keep
Hull tidy, but a cultural change is needed to make this happen.”

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