Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Copper

I'm in Jakarta at the moment for work and my trip happened to coincide with the Chinese New Year holiday. I took the day off to head out to Kampung Melayu to say hi to Ardy and whoever else was around. While I was chatting to Ardy about stuff a bunch of kids turned up with a plastic bag filled with bits of copper - wiring, hinges and whatnot.

They'd spent the day picking over trash heaps to tear out dynamos from radios, electric motors from washing machines, and wiring from pretty much anything else they could find. Apparently they get Rp. 50,000 (about A$6, or US$5) a kilo from some guy down the road for it. It struck me because when I was back in Australia over new year I heard a couple of stories on the news about some enterprising young go-getters who were stealing power lines and high voltage cable from railway lines to sell for scrap. The kids assured me that they weren't doing anything like that, but then, only two of them consented to having their photo taken...

3 comments:

johnorford said...

i read recently that some ppl in jkt strip derelict buildings of their metal -- that can also involve striping out the iron supports of the buildings.

there are often cases of people being caught in collapsed building through their pursuit of these metals... crazy huh?

mr_john said...

Seems like a lot of work for a couple of bucks... Copper is at least slightly more portable in terms of $/kg...

Shelley said...

One of my New Yorkers has a great article about scrap use, including how the rising price of copper has has generated 'scrap management' as a really serious business. Whole article isn't online, but remind me when you get home and I'll find the original for you.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/01/14/080114fa_fact_seabrook

I'm so fucking tired after the PM's visit. And curfew, while novel for the first couple of days, is now getting on my nerves. I hate having to rush home to make it before 8pm. I hate having to work UNTIL 8pm. Argh.