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Thousands vow to stop of Bojong dump tryout

Jakarta Post - July 25, 2005

Thousands of residents living in the vicinity of Bojong dump in Bogor and students from Bogor universities gathered on Sunday in a mass prayer to object to the trial operation of the dump slated for next Wednesday.

"We will form human blockade to prevent the dump trucks from entering the location," a resident of Bojong village, Naih, said.

The dump, which is designated to handle Jakarta's waste, is located in the neighborhood, prompting fears that its operation will adversely affect the environment and the residents' health.

Dump operator PT Wira Guna Sejahtera and Bogor authorities had said that the dump will use incinerators and a ball press which were relatively environmentally friendly compared to the landfill system at Jakarta's Bantar Gebang dump in Bekasi.

However, during the first trial last year, the machines did not work as they are designed for non-organic waste.

"They have tried, but the machines just don't work. We won't let them hold any more trials because the authorities will use that opportunity to reopen the dump," Naih added.

The authorities had attempted to hold another trial twice late last year, but rowdy protests by locals forced them to discontinue the plan.

Several police officers were placed under detention for several weeks because they dispersed protesters violently, while a number of residents were jailed for several months for vandalism and inciting unrest.

According to Bogor spokesman Ahmad Sjahuri, Jakarta will send between 100 tons and 300 tons garbage to the dump for the trial on Wednesday.

"We expect the residents to let us do this so we can learn whether there is any adverse impact of the dump on them," he said, adding that the police will be on guard at the site.