Garbage Wierdness   4 comments

Just about everywhere you live in El Salvador, you must get accustomed to weirdness with water, garbage, or both.  When we were living in Los Planes, I got used to the sound of the bell ringing the garbage truck riding in.  There was no set day for them to come, so when you heard the bell, it was a scramble for the bags and mad dash for the door, and hollering “ya voy” (I’m coming) to they wouldn’t pass me by.  I joked to myself that like many things in El Salvador, if you don’t have someone in the house all day, you’re S.O.L., and gee what woul I do if I were working full time?  Well that day came, and the garbage bags piled up in the corner for that special moment when the stars were aligned and I happened to be home on a weekend day at the same time they happened to pass by.  Of course, our garbage didn’t have the stench it would have from sitting for days like it would back home, because all of the organic material like fruit and veggie peels were gifted to the garden.  Meat and bone scraps were saved in a tub int eh freezer of rhet dogs on our visits to the in-laws.  Heck, all of the scraps in the garden attracted animals like possums, but I say all the better.  Why have a garden when you can have an ecosystem?

What to do with you now that you’re empty?

Now that we’re back in “el campo” (the country) my husband remarks that it’s nice to have the chickens to feed the veggie scraps too.  Agreed, I say, what a shame all the food that gets tossed into garbage trucks to go needlessly wasted to the dump.  As I’ve mentioened before, at least among the poor and middle class in El Salvador, very little gets wasted.  But one downside to garbage collection in the country is there IS NONE!  That’s right, no one comes to pick it up.  You are left to your own devices, to sort, pile, and burn your own trash and Lord help you if you’re downwind from burning plastic.   If it’s made of metal, you can usually get it off your hands by selling it to the “Chatarra” guy who wheels into the hood with his truck and loudspeaker, rattling off the scrap metal items and old TVs and radios he’ll trade you for a handful of coins.  Cheaper broken down items like crappy old phones – who knows?  My husband got rid of our old phone because my mother-in-law gave it to my sister-in-law as a gag gift.  Don’t know what she did with it.  The most troublesome item to eliminate from the household is broken glass or non-returnable glass bottles.     Anyone have a neat craft idea for this so I don’t have to break and bury broken glass?  Or shall I goto Nueva Concepcion and discreetly throw them quickly into a public can?

4 responses to “Garbage Wierdness

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  1. You can “try” to dye sand and fill the bottles as a decoration, or you can fill them with a little bit of sand and some shells to make a nice little “decoration” (I saw it in TJmax). You can also make small table top gardens with the bigger bottles (soil, plants,etc, etc.) Back in El Salvador, in the town my dad is from, they throw the garbage in this patch of land and I guess they burn it. ¡Buena Suerte chera!

    • Thanks for your ideas, Alex. You are reminding me of the “terrarium” my mother had in the 1970’s which was a very big bottle with soil and plants in it. I like the decor ideas, and might do something like that, but I am hoping for something really amazing like a furniture item – hard to do with glass, as its fragile. Will keep on thinking, thanks for joining in.

  2. El Salvador has so much trash littering the streets, I was amazed. I took a walk with some police officers, they were escorting me to a waterfall in Suchitoto, they said it was dangerous to go alone. They casually just threw their trash in the street, right in front of me…. Common practice i guess. In all the Central American countries i have been (almost all of them), -honduras & guatemala, El Salvador has the most trash everywhere. . . They have no concept of not littering. People just threw their trash out the windows of the bus like it was breathing air. . . Really unfortunate, because its a beautiful country. Beautiful country, with garbage everywhere. . . They can make walls out of garbage on the side of roads, instead of using rocks.

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