Salmiya Garbage Update Part 2

So this is a quick update on my previous post about the garbage issue behind my house. It’s taken me a while to post this update because I was waiting for things to settle but I do have some very interesting information.

In my last post I posted about how after complaining to the baladiya about the overflowing garbage, they started removing the bins one by one until there were none. After sharing the photo of the huge pile of garbage on the floor because there were no bins, the baladiya came and cleaned it up. They didn’t replace the bins but went around warning all the buildings not to dump garbage there anymore. Overnight there were no longer any bins or any garbage.

So I was talking to our building manager about the garbage situation and he filled me in on how the whole thing works and this is where it gets interesting.

If you look at the photo above you’ll see the bins are different colors. Each color represents a different garbage collecting company. There are a number of companies that are licensed by the baladiya to collect the garbage, different buildings work with different companies. Our building works with a company that has blue bins and we pay 50KD a month to dump our garbage in their bins. The building next to us might have a deal with the red bins or yellow bins and pay 35KD a month to dump their garbage in it. When I flagged the garbage issue with the Baladia, they told the companies to remove their bins which is why every day one bin was disappearing, it was the companies coming and collecting their bins.

So when that happened, the buildings in the area got stuck with no where to throw the garbage. If you have a contract that says you can throw your garbage in the red bins, you can’t throw them in the blue bins and vice versa. Luckily for our building, there was a blue bin down the street so our building cleaners had a place to dump our garbage, they just had to walk further down the street. Not sure what other buildings did, but for a few days, there were no bins and no garbage in the sand lot.

Then bins started arriving, but it wasn’t like before:
– The bins were newer and cleaner (photo on top)
– They were laid out in pairs with two from every company
– We finally got 6 bins instead of 5
– The garbage hasn’t overflowed since

It’s been over a week since the new system was implemented and the garbage hasn’t over flowed since. Not sure if adding one extra bin is the reason the garbage stopped overflowing, maybe the red company had too many contracts for one bin and the Baladia forced them to put a second bin, I’m not sure. Also, there no longer is a blue bin so I’m guessing our building has now signed up with another collector, or we’re still dumping our garbage in the bins further down the road.

Whatever the case, the whole thing was interesting and the garbage situation seems to be sorted… for now.


Salmiya Garbage Update 2023

This is just a quick update on my 9 year long ordeal with the garbage dump behind my house. Next year will mark the 10 year anniversary of my first post on the issue. It’s basically the same crap over and over.

9 years ago there weren’t enough bins, since then more towers have come up and Barayih Salem was built and so the area is more popular than its ever been. As you can imagine that means more waste and more garbage.

Even though the garbage dump is my view every morning as I grab my coffee and sit down on my computer to post about Kuwait, it only really starts to bother me when the weather gets nicer and I start taking out my classic cars. The cars don’t have AC and so I need to have the windows open but as I drive by this garbage dump on my way home, I have to put up with the horrendous smell.

So I decided to send a WhatsApp to the 139 Baladia number to complain. There were originally 5 bins with garbage overflowing. First day they came and cleaned up the overflowed garbage.

Next day it was the same issue so I sent them another message. They came back but they ended up removing one of the bins bringing it down to a total of 4.

Next day the garbage problem was worse because now we were down a bin. So I sent them a WhatsApp again and they removed 3 bins and left just 1.

I swear I’m not exaggerating, I have this all documented with photos and text messages. As you can imagine I sent a complaint again. So I wake up next day and we have no bins at all, just a pile of garbage all pilled up on the ground.

It’s both funny and sad at the same time. I sent them another complaint today, not sure what they might do since they’ve already taken all the bins. I’ll let you guys know tomorrow!


Salmiya Garbage Update 2019

If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time then you might remember my posts on the garbage situation behind my house in Salmiya. It’s been a problem thats been ongoing for over a decade now and I’ve posted about it a number of times on the blog before. Usually what happens is I post pictures of the garbage dump behind my house, baladiya find out about it and send trucks to clean up, a week later problem is back again.

For YEARS I’ve posted about how there aren’t enough garbage bins and since then more buildings have popped up which means more garbage but instead of the bins increasing over the year they’ve decreased.

A while back I gave up and decided to no longer post about the garbage because I was starting to sound like a broken record and honestly, I’m just too tired and exhausted to fight. I’ve really become a pretty chill person and very little really bothers me nowadays. But things are also just getting worse and worse and today I just couldn’t take it anymore. Before I left to work I decided to take and tweet the picture above and then left the house. A few hours later while in a meeting I found out my tweet went viral and since then I’ve been getting a ton of support but also some stupid comments I really don’t want to have to deal with.

To summarize my Salmiya garbage issue, basically, the garbage overflows every single day because there aren’t enough garbage bins to cater to the residents and shops. Tomorrow someone will come and clean up the mess because of my tweet but nobody really is solving this problem and so it keeps happening over and over again. I keep saying we need more bins and I’ve been saying that for over a decade now but nobody cares.

As I’m writing this post my brother who lives next door sent me the picture above. The baladiya are here now picking up the garbage. I’m really grateful for sure, and I’m not trying to sound pessimistic here but, unless they add more bins, this overflowing garbage issue is going to keep happening.

Update: So they cleaned up one corner last night but the other side where there were 6 bins and I posted saying that 6 weren’t enough and we needed more, well, today they came and took 3 of the bins leaving just 3. I feel like they might be trolling me.


Update on the Salmiya Garbage Situation


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.


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?


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.


Salmiya is a Garbage Dump

If pictures weren’t enough to show you how bad things are in Salmiya, here is a video of the garbage dump right outside my apartment building.


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.


Salmiya is a Garbage Dump


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.


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.


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.


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.


50s to 90s Kuwait Photography

Salmiya Before and After

Last week I was looking for something on Google and ended up stumbling across an old picture of Salmiya which I hadn’t seen before. I started digging around looking for a higher resolution version and turned out I had actually posted the photo on my blog back in 2009 with a bunch of other old photos.

My memory is terrible and I’ve published over 12,000 posts so there is no way I can remember everything. I tried to find a higher resolution version of the photo online but everyone else had taken it off my blog so I couldn’t find one. So I decided to go through my emails to see if the source had originally sent me better quality scans. Turns out he had scanned the images in high res but because they were over 160MB he only sent me low res versions. I decided to randomly reply back to that person’s original email 12 years later asking if he still had the high res images. Turns out he did! He sent me a link to all the photos and I downloaded them and just put them up on Flickr and you can check them out here.

Anyway, I wanted to do a before and after comparison of Salmiya and you can view that in high res here. It’s impressive how many old buildings are still there but sadly they haven’t been maintained and are all in a state of disrepair. The whole neighborhood honestly is disastrously mishandled with no sidewalks or parking spots and loads of large open garbage bins that stink up the neighborhood. My neighborhood has so much potential and it’s sad I can’t do anything about it.

Thanks Khalid!


The Garbage Walk

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).


So Much for a Greener Salmiya


Back in 2011 the Salmiya municipality dug up the middle sidewalk in the old souq where I live. The trees originally were surrounded by a small square dirt patch but someone in the municipality decided to enlarge that patch more than double the size and then merge all the trees with one large dirt pit. When I had spoken to one of the employees who was digging up the street back then he told me the plan was to plant the sidewalk like on the Gulf Road. I obviously knew that wasn’t going to happen since we have a major garbage situation that wasn’t getting solved so I had doubts they were planning to “beautify” Salmiya with greenery. But, a few of my readers thought I was being pessimistic and were all for a greener Salmiya.

Well just an update 5+ years later, nobody has planted shit and the dirt pit is still a dirt pit.