How do I solve the garbage issue in Salmiya?


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.

38 replies on “How do I solve the garbage issue in Salmiya?”

someone keeps stealing my bins in front of my house πŸ™ same problem here, and now everyone just dumps it in the street where the bins were

I live in a Kuwaiti residencial area in Ahmadi. We rent a two story house so we dont have to share a small trash bin with others in the same building as do many people here in Kuwait. We the problems with trash is really prominent in areas where there Apartment Buildings. For example on a street with 200 families you will only find 4 garbage bins. As for stealing trash bins we have that issue in Ahmadi as well which is why my father keeps the trash bin tied with a chain.

“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?”

Yes, yes to all of it.

Only comfort is, you’re far from being the only one. Sounds like everyone else has this problem in their areas. Myself included.

Try q8needsyou. They sometimes get their posts posted in the papers.

Checkout their insta, take a pic and PM it or whatsapp it to them.

an investor has to open a recycling center. then the garbage sorts itself out; labor/collectors get paid by the center to deposit 95% of the garbage.

here in bahrain local indians pick up everything cardboard boxes/glass/aluminum cans/metals/plastics/electronics.

ex. a kilo of scrape aluminum is 0.600 bahraini dinars.

I’m pretty sure you have large communities of certain nationalities there. Usually foreign communities have like a person who speaks on their behalf. No? Have him talk to your governor.

You need something hard hitting, something that’ll shock people. Try putting up signs that say stuff like “Trash Throws Trash.” or “Losers Litter.”
Why not go with something religious since so many people use that as a basis for their morals? Put a sign that says something like “Allah created this world, stop destroying it.” or “You wouldn’t throw trash in your house, so don’t throw trash in Allah’s.”
Why not go the shaming route? Put up a sign saying “Say Something.” and contact all the big blogs and get them to post it. It will raise awareness and get people to speak up when they see littering happening.
Get all the waiters at restaurants in Kuwait, and I mean all of them, to start saying a phrase at the end of service like, “Keep Us Clean.” or “Keep Kuwait Clean.” Make it as ordinary as saying ma’salama. That’s how you make a meme, a nationwide change in the way people think. It will become so second nature that everyone will start saying it and get influenced by it.

IDK, just some ideas.

Texas has big sign when you enter is borders and airports that says “Don’t mess with Texas!” And then states that anyone who litters will be fined 10,000 usd and or might face up to five years in prison.

Serious question and I hope you can be mature enough to respond to it.

Why are you still in Kuwait?

Is it because your family or loved ones live here?

Is it because you consider this hope and you can never live elsewhere?

Is it because you couldn’t find a better job/pay elsewhere?

I’m curious about your perspective.

Seriously … get a life bro. I wonder if someone ask me such things that what the hell i am doing in Kuwait , how i am going to reach or answer him.

Why you even ask a person such things, just out of the blue moon. What’s going on in your mind…. what you were thinking.

It’s actually a valid question, why someone with a canadian passport would choose to live here. I’m Kuwaiti and if i had a canadian passport well you’de choke on the dust from the speed of me leaving. I’de totally understand if anyone stayed here while they had only lebanese/syrian/Egyptian citizenship considering the political instability and economic difficulties but being Canadian why stay?

Do you guys happen to forget I grew up here, my friends are all here, I’ve got a great apartment and on top of that I run a successful blog which allows me not to have a job a 8 to 5 desk job… And I get to travel as much as I want. For now I would rather stay here and try to help fix things but once I get fed up I can always leave.

You’re more patriotic than I am and I’m Kuwaiti. Unfortunately the society here is happy with stagnation and does not want to fix anything (unless they can make quick $$$ in doing so).

Hi mark, really appreciate your perspective on kuwait and your effort to make this country a place better.( Been watching your blog quietly for a loong time)

As for the people who complain and whine and do nothing about making this place better. Well this is my face :/

And I disagree with some people here that say all kuwaitis dont care about this place unless theres money in it. We’ve got tons of voluntary orginizations that contribute to kuwait, wether its making the environment cleaner or social like helping the poor.

Plus not all of us live in palace-like houses and not care about expats living here. Half of us still live on rent :/

As incompetent as our government is, I think it’s a bigger issue. The infrastructure can’t cope with the population fast enough. This country is designed to handle 2 mil max, yet it has 4 mil plus, many of whom concentrated in tiny spaces like Hawaly or Salmiya. The best you can do is raise awareness about it and hope for the best.

“The infrastructure can’t cope with the population fast enough. This country is designed to handle 2 mil max”…..The population of Kuwait was 2 million in 1989! it’s 2015! is that fast growth? πŸ™‚ what would you say then about the growth in Dubai or Qatar if Kuwait is fast?

go to an instagram page called @q8needsyou. they are all about making kuwait cleaner and a better place and have tons of pictures on how they have been answering requests by instagram users for several things. I feel like this page does not have that much followers and hope you take time to look at it and maybe file a complaint to them regarding the garbage:) good luck!

How many Kuwaitis live in your area? None? That’s how many fucks they give about your garbage problem.

There is a huge problem in jleeb too. A lot of expats live there and some of the internal streets REALLY REALLY look like slums of some 3rd world country. It’s horrible. I would do a walking tour and document all the areas, it’s total ghetto and unfortunately SCARY AF


Yes, they do. I moved out of Jleeb after I saw a couple of kidnap attempts right in front of my building. There’s also gangs of people who roam at night mugging pedestrians and looking for cars to steal. I told one of my Kuwaiti friends about this but he thought I was joking. He said it sounded like something from a movie.

For the people who live in Jleeb this is all part of daily life, including the overflowing sewers, mountains of trash and crime.

Why isn’t anything done about this? Coz there’s no one who cares about the place.

If not by force, maybe “Gamification” is the way…

An example :

Maybe a team can be formed to apply this. They make a leaderboard of the cleanest area / backyards based on a pointing system… Best three areas in each city will be granted Bronze, Silver and Gold virtual medal awards ? Scores, awards and announcements can be put in a website available to everyone ?

Just a idea..

+1 for the live stream go for it! It would be fun to watch how trash fills everyday and definitely a nice introduction to Kuwait for the other people πŸ™‚

Why aren’t the ruling leaders humiliate by all the garbage here?! This is a wealthy country that looks like a slum in many popular neighbourhoods. It’s disgusting. It’s so backwards that there are NO recycling companies here in 2015! The Kuwaitis don’t think twice about opening another place to buy or eat something, but making an effort to protect the world God made is not important to them.

Get active, Kuwaitis! At school we try our best to educate your kids about these issues. Talk to your leaders about the problem! Invest your money in a garbage collection and recycling plant! Pay for ads and more trash cans to be put along the streets. If there was a fine imposed for littering, some expats groups who are the biggest offenders of littering might stop, since they don’t have the money to spare for fines.

“your kids” “your country”, “backwards” “country looks like a slum”

Is it that your own country is too perfect that you are starting to point fingers at others that you obviously don’t consider yourself to be part of ?

You are someone who I would consider saying “Move” to, and indeed not to Mark or people who are reasonably criticising for the sake of better.

Tell me where are you from, and I shall give you a list of which you better reserve your negative energy to go back there and show us how to fix them !!!

Hey Sala6a aka Mr.Sunshine… In response, my homeland has its issues but littering and poor garbage collection and no recycling companies are thankfully not on its list. If you see me as negative, another might call it realistically frustrated with an issue that does not have to exist!! Kuwait has the means to fix this problem! Yet go to certain expat neighbourhoods and see the garbage and filth and then direct your anger towards lawmakers and government. Kuwait’s laws are partly based on Shariah laws, and the Quran mentions appreciating the Earth that God gave us — and therefore taking care of it. You can tell all us expats who criticize certain issues to GTFO– and we all will one day–but YOU will still be living amongst trash. And your kids grow up around it and seeing that their leaders couldn’t be bothered to keep the streets clean

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