Nice scene, ain’t it? That’s what I witness every day leaving home and returning. Our neighbors’ windows are right above this scene. The garbage area was being scavenged in the morning, when I was leaving. I took the picture at about 5p.m the same day, when I returned. See how much garbage they managed to pile!
I took this other picture the next day. The garbage will remain there and will be cumulated by our neighbors for the following 5 days, unless the garbage track arrives again and picks it up.
Imagine the stench, especially in a summer heat!
The problem is that the dwellers of adjacent houses have no place to take their garbage, so they dispose of it dumping it at our garbage area. Ok, let they. The other problem is that the dwellers of my block not once cleaned this area to make it possible to empty their garbage cans inside the dump and not on the stairs, because the building has its refuse chute and we do not really need to carry our trash out. We washed the stairs and put a sign asking to throw their garbage inside. Instead, the people of neighboring houses continue throwing their garbage standing some 3 meters away from stairs, not giving a damn whether the garbage ultimately ends up inside the place or along the sidewalk.
We – dwellers of the block – applied to the local governing body (taghapetaran) with this problem. Soon they placed a dust bin in a deserted area right in front of our kitchen window. But because of rare appearance of garbage trucks, this place was turned into another dump and only after another application to taghapetaran, two trucks were needed to entruck the garbage piled there during months. Fortunately or unfortunately someone bought that area and constructed a house. Therefore, everyone again returned to our garbage area.
We applied to the local governing body again with the request, at least, that the area be scavenged every morning. However we were told that it could do nothing, as it is not its responsibility but that of an NGO which possesses the trucks and human resources. If the dwellers do not pay taxes for waste, the NGO does not fund carrying the city garbage out to the city dump, incidentally, one of which is some 7 minutes away by car from my place to Nubarashen. Incidentally, Follow The Way blog carries some photos of Nubarashen landfill.
Some of the dwellers rebelled saying that they always paid waste taxes, which is in reality such a petty amount of money – 100 drams for each member of the family. That is, we are five in my family, so we pay 500 drams every month. But what we discovered later, after how the tax collector presented us with the tax-list of the dwellers of our block, was really something.
Some of our neighbors had debt amounting to 40000-50000 drams. Just count for how many months…years they hadn’t paid the tax! Although they all live comfortably well off. But every time the employee knocks at their door to collect taxes, they either pretend not to be at home, or someone inside says with a childish voice: “Mum is not at home”, although the employee is sure that that’s the mother herself. In case of such huge debts, one wants to ask, why don’t they institute a case against the citizens? At least that’s one of those rare cases when the state is right.
In better cases, 5-6 people live in an apartment, whereas only two or one is registered. And one also wonders whether the private sector pays any tax for the waste???
However, after the whole fuss created we were ensured that they’d do every possible thing to rectify the situation, which would mainly depend on the periodicity and amount of the incoming tax.
And here we have the picture: our kind neighbors from all adjacent houses of adjacent streets (I’d count more than 100 people) keep on throwing their garbage right under the general balcony and it’s piling, piling, piling… until the day when the garbage truck feels like coming to take it away. Whereas we can’t open our windows, because you imagine how it should stink. Besides cats and dogs and some poors are constantly rummaging through the garbage and scattering it around, whereas children of the block are playing in that area. Not mentioning the fact that in order to go to the yard of the building one has to pass by that terrific scene and feel the “odor”. Sometimes the garbage is stretching to the sidewalk making it nearly impossible for cars to drive into the yard.
Go figure! And I suppose this is not the case with only our block, as there are plenty of suchlike familiar situations at other garbage areas. This is one of the cases when the blamings go both ways: “you don’t pay so we don’t clean” and “why should we pay if you don’t clean?”
Whoever is right, there is only one truth and reason to all this fuss: we – Armenians – are pigs!!! We don’t like when everything is clean around, no, rather we like when everything is clean around us up to the threshold of our houses. Beyond that boundary we sweep our dust to the doorside of our neighbors, we empty our waste-bins under somebody’s window, away from our place. We eat sunflower seeds and throw them to nowhere, we eat ice cream and throw its waste under our feet or out of the window of the car in motion. Then we talk about economy and environmental protection, but when we go to the country we forget what we had been preaching of, and leave a pile of bottles and other stuff after us, or in better cases cast them into the river.
And what am I babbling about?! This whole city is one huge landfill now!!