“This is stage four,” says Teguh Prayitno, describing the conditions at the Cipayung Final Processing Site (TPA)—an estuary of all the rubbish produced in Depok City, West Java. The landfill is a mix of organic and inorganic waste piled up over 10m high; you can smell it from 500m away. On the east side, some of the waste is encroaching on the river. The head of the subdivision of TPA Cipayung tells New Naratif that this area is increasingly problematic for Depok City and difficult to document.

This was experienced firsthand when New Naratif visited and asked for permission to take photographs—which wasn’t granted even though there is no specific regulation that says that it’s prohibited. “I’m also not allowed to take pictures of this landfill,” adds Teguh. He says the order came from the Depok environmental services agency that oversees the TPA.

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Richaldo Hariandja

Richaldo has been a journalist since 2013 and spent 4.5 years at the Media Indonesia Daily Newspaper, writing about politics, science, environmental issues, design and entertainment. He is greatly concerned about environmental issues in Indonesia and has been a member of the Society of Indonesia Environmental Journalists since 2016.