As the Garbage Piles Up in Alamar

Ernesto Carralero

HAVANA TIMES — Every step you take in Alamar in East Havana invites you to reflect upon your surroundings. It seems that the city is becoming one big garbage dump.

Fumigation services turn up randomly, but what difference does it make?

An overflowing dumpster can be seen on every corner and more than once I’ve even seen a rat or two rummaging about the trash.

You might think it was just for a few days, that for some reason or another, the garbage couldn’t be collected but what you see in the photos is our daily reality.

These huge heaps of waste are a hotbed for all kinds of pests, not to mention that they also severely affect our neighborhood’s esthetics.

Nevertheless, the majority of Alamar’s inhabitants don’t seem to be too bothered by the problem or at least they don’t seem to think they can do anything to fix it.

But, is this really true?

It’s sad to think that so many things don’t happen just because the majority don’t want them to. When will we get beyond only sweeping the corner of our homes?

In a recent visit to Matanzas, I was able to verify the fact that this phenomenon appears to be unique to Havana.

Other provinces have managed to organize a more efficient garbage collection service. Usually, waste is picked up on certain days, once a week, where residents leave the rubbish on their doorstep in the early morning.

Wouldn’t this same system be a viable option for Alamar?

Even to answer this question, we need to do something first, we need to act. After all, we’re the ones that are being affected.

If everyone just took out 10 minutes from their spare time and called the local public services office to complain.

If for only ten minutes, every citizen of Alamar demanded that an answer be found to the situation.

If once a week, a letter was sent to the board of the public services…

I’m certain the day will come when, even if it’s just down to outright tiredness, they’ll try to sort things out.

Cubans need to learn to complain more seriously than they are accustomed to.

Ernesto Carralero

Ernesto Carralero: I'm 18, I live in Havana and I firmly believe in the progress of Cuba. I do not understand progress as returning to the past, but being realistic and taking into account our characteristics, evolve into a much more inclusive country with more opportunities than we have today.

2 thoughts on “As the Garbage Piles Up in Alamar

  • Complaining at local level will do no good. You have to find a way of making a nuisance of yourselves at Government level. Remember that Alamar is at the extreme east of Havana and Siboney where the decision makers live in comfort is at the extreme west. I can guarantee that there are not any piles of Basuro or oveflowing dumpsters in Siboney.
    Cuba is very much a class society with very different levels of service for the political heirarchy.
    To the heirarchy, the people of Alamar are out of sight and very much out of mind.
    There are no rats (rodentia) in Siboney, but quite a few of another order.

  • Ernesto writes, “Cubans need to learn to complain more seriously than they are accustomed to.” Never a truer word spoken.

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