The Garbage Walk

Post by Mark

It’s hard to write this post without expressing my emotions which are mostly composed of anger and lot of frustration, but I’ll try my best to be as neutral and professional as possible. Yesterday when I went to take photos of the bike sharing station near Marina Waves, I was caught off guard by what has to be the dumbest fucking decision ever an idea with good intentions, but poor execution.

Who thought it would be a great fucking idea to plaster bright orange garbage bins at eye level every 10 fucking meters on the side facing the sea???!. Now I am aware of the garbage situation in Kuwait and specifically Salmiya, I’ve written about it a number of times on the blog before, but I do believe this idea could have been executed better. I guess people have been throwing garbage on the floor so someone (I’m assuming at the municipality) decided to add more garbage bins all across the beautiful scenic path near Marina Waves. The issue is, the garbage bins are bright fucking orange, raised up to eye level, and most importantly, they’re placed every 10 meters on the side of the path that is closest to the sea.

The pathway is popular because the view there is spectacular. It’s a popular location for photos and its one of the most beautiful aspects of Kuwait along with the whole Gulf Road. So why ruin this amazing view by sticking bright fucking orange bins so high up on ugly poles? Why couldn’t they add more bins, but ones that blended in with the environment better instead of sticking out like a sore thumb? For the benefit of the doubt, lets assume they had a very limited budget to work with, and these cheap plastic bins were the only ones that fit into their budget. Why couldn’t they place them on the other side of the path so that the sea view isn’t blocked by hundreds of these floating orange bins? Whoever is behind this I am guessing was behind a similar stupid idea in Salmiya a few years ago where they plastered yellow bins every 10 meters on the side of Salem Mubarek Street. That idea failed because it was fucking stupid not well thought out, and these orange ideas aren’t a good solution either.

Also, do people who litter do so because the garbage bin is to far, or do they litter because they don’t know any better and just don’t care? My guess is the later, the below is taken from the City of Chicago website:

Why Do People Litter?
People litter because they do not feel responsible for public areas like streets and parks. The more they litter, the more it becomes a habit, and the worse the community looks. People usually litter outside their own neighborhood where their trash becomes someone else’s problem.

I highly doubt these garbage bins are going to stop people from littering, what we need is probably an awareness campaign that educates the public on why they shouldn’t litter, followed by strict enforcement of the littering law (which I believe we have).


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Update on the Salmiya Garbage Situation

Post by Mark

garbage1

As you can see from the picture above, the garbage situation in the sand pit behind my house still hasn’t been sorted (it’s been years of me complaining). I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to just add more bins.

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But the reason I’m posting about this today is because I wanted to see if you guys could spot something. The picture below was taken this morning after the garbage trucks came. Notice anything?

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Yeah the garbage trucks cleaned the garbage on the ground but didn’t empty the trash bins. Back in August I posted a timelapse of the garbage being cleaned up and the trucks were leaving one of the bins full while emptying the other three. Turned out that one of the bins belonged to the previous company that had the garbage contract and the new company, not to cause an issue with the previous company was leaving their garbage bins alone. Really stupid shit but now I have no idea whats going on because all four bins aren’t being emptied and the already terrible garbage situation has become worse.

I just want them to add more bins, clearly the bins in the area aren’t enough since I’ve been talking about this issue for years now. I don’t know, am I asking for too much here?

And for those of you who are going to argue back by bringing Lebanon into this, yes yes Lebanon is a big garbage dump, I know that. But, I think of Kuwait more highly and would rather compare it to the likes of Calagary, Canada’s oil capital instead of Lebanon.


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My Garbage Timelapse

Post by Mark

So about my garbage problem, I decided to try and create a timelapse to see how the garbage ends up building up so much. I hadn’t done a timelapse before and this was my first attempt and although it’s not great I think it’s pretty clear what the main problem is. Not only do we need a few more garbage bins in the lot but some of the bins aren’t being emptied which is why the garbage is getting pilled up all around them. In the video you’ll see a garbage truck come by but they only empty one of the bins and leave the other three. This timelapse was around a day and half long, 432 images in total, one image taken every 5 minutes. I’m going to try and make one thats a few days longer and see how that turns out. [YouTube]

garbage


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How do I solve the garbage issue in Salmiya?

Post by Mark

garbage1

There is currently a major garbage crisis in Lebanon and it made me think about the one I have in my backyard here in Kuwait. I’ve got this landfill behind my building which has been a garbage dump for years. I’ve posted about it a bunch of times (check this for example from 2010) and the issue hasn’t gotten sorted yet. I mean it gets sorted when I post about it, but then a week later it goes back to garbage overflowing everywhere. I took the picture above at 4PM, that’s just the garbage accumulated since morning, imagine how much garbage there will be by the end of the night!

So what do I need to do to get this shit solved? Do I have to post a picture on the blog everyday of the garbage dump and hope that the international embarrassment it will bring to Kuwait will get someone to act on it? Should I set up a live video stream of the dump and have it displayed in my blogs sidebar? Seriously I’m open to suggestions (don’t tell me to move or GTFO). Thankfully there is the Deera app but it gets annoying having to report this issue every single day.

The bigger issue is this has become the norm in Kuwait. It’s normal to see garbage on the floor everywhere or dumpsters overflowing. I miss the old anti littering campaigns from the 80s. They should bring those back.


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New Speed Cameras that Look Like Garbage Bins

Post by Mark

speed-camera

According to @tafteesh_q8, a new speed camera was spotted in Ahmadi that looks like a garbage bin. If these start popping up everywhere then I might consider investing in a decent radar detector since I get way more speeding tickets then I should be anyway.

Thanks @Ahmad_Al_Awadhi

Update: Based on the comments it seems the photo above is not in Kuwait.


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Salmiya is a Garbage Dump

Post by Mark

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Last year when I was in Dubai having lunch I started chatting with the waiter and it turned out he had just moved to Dubai from Kuwait. He was in Kuwait getting training for just a short period of time before being sent to their Dubai branch. I asked him what he thought about Kuwait in the time he had spent here and he replied saying he was surprised at how dirty it was. Usually the most common response is that Kuwait is too hot or the fact they hated it because there was no social life or alcohol but that was the first time someone had told me they thought Kuwait was dirty. That comment stuck with me ever since because it made me realize, I’ve kinda gotten immune to the garbage like I’ve gotten immune to the heat or the fact that there is sand everywhere.

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The photos in this post are my latest submission to the Deera App. All this garbage is located in a sand lot behind my apartment building, the same sand lot which at one point someone had dug a large pit to dump all the garbage in.

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The way I see it there are a few things that need to be done to solve the garbage issue:

1) Clean up the garbage. Not sure how much money is allocated to cleaning up the garbage but either they should allocate more money or work more efficiently. In this one sand lot behind my place a quick solution for now would be to add more bins. When people dug a pit in the lot to throw garbage it was because the 7 bins weren’t enough. Instead of adding more bins to solve the issue they removed two leaving just 5 so obviously the garbage is going be overflowing. But its also not just about the garbage bins, there is litter all over the floor all around Salmiya and that never gets cleaned up.

2) Educate people. A nationwide anti-littering campaign would be a good start. I can’t even remember the last time there was an anti-littering campaign in Kuwait, maybe back in the 80s.

3) Fine people for littering. This is far fetched of course because I’ve seen cops let people run red lights and not chase them so I doubt they’re going to fine people for littering.

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4) Finally put me in charge of Salmiya because whoever is in charge now obviously doesn’t give a shit about the area.

Update: Just a quick note, it took two trucks but thanks to the Deera App the garbage was all cleaned and the building that had caused most of the waste in the first photo was also fined.

cleaned


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A new garbage dump

Post by Mark

I have no clue who’s smart idea it was to turn the empty piece of land behind my building into a garbage dump. That yellow truck on the left actually came, dumped some garbage and then left!

Update: Another truck just came and dumped more garbage. Kinda reminds me when the garbage contractors were having a turf war on the HBO show The Sopranos. Someone is really pissed off at someone.

Update2: Looks like we’re in a handover transition period between two different garbage contractors and this issue should be temporary. According to Arab Times the new contractors are charging around KD5,000,000 a month to clean up the garbage, a lot more than the previous company because they’re supposed to do a much better job and adhere to a higher standard. You can read the article on Arab Times [Here]


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Better garbage bins needed

Post by Mark

Just read an interesting post on the K’S PATH blog in which they’re recommending closed garbage bins (basically with lids) similar to the ones pictured above over the current open ones in helping to prevent strays.

I think that’s actually a pretty good idea and doesn’t require much work from the municipality other than some financial investment to purchase the new bins. Not only will it help prevent stray dogs and cats from munching and living off the garbage but it would also hide the garbage from plain sight and also reduce the foul smell. [Link]


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Better garbage bins

Post by Mark

I spotted the garbage bin above while in London. It has a built-in LCD screen on the side that broadcasts the latest news. My question is this. If London can afford to install cool looking garbage bins like this, then why are we getting extremely cheap and horrible looking Big Bird yellow trash bins instead?

Update: Here’s more information on the bins

– It displays market moves, weather forecasts and breaking news
– The rubbish bins also come with Wi-Fi connectivity
– Costs $1,800 each and orders are expected from New York, Singapore and Tokyo

[Source]


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Tasteful Garbage

Post by Mark

I spotted the above garbage bin outside Salhiya Complex earlier today. What grabbed my attention was the fact they’re the the exact same kind of garbage bins as the ones currently used all over Salmiya, except they didn’t look as bad. That’s because instead of the bins being painted bright yellow causing them not to blend with their environment, the Salhiya bins are tastefully painted and placed so they fit in with their surroundings.


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