I was skimming headlines on O Globo today when I saw a photograph of a pile of rubbish that a reader sent in which angered her but sadly didn’t shock me.
I’m not sure where these piles of trash come from or why someone or some company thinks any ol’ spot will do when looking for a place to dump their waste but when living in Brazil, I got quite used to seeing them. They weren’t all the size of the pile in the photo (most were smaller) but still, I was baffled at an assortment of things…
1. Why is someone doing this?
2. Why do they think it’s okay to do this?
3. Where do responsible people dump things?
4. If there aren’t better options, why not?
5. Are the local governments doing anything about this?
6. Is this considered illegal (dumping)?
7. What do onlookers do when they see this happening?
8. Does it somehow stem from the practice of littering?*
* – I’ve witnessed people throwing their trash on the ground many times in Brazil…and I’m sure you have too.
Pride shouldn’t just pertain to football, right? Brazil banned smoking in many public spaces, which might as well be seen as air-littering, so why not ban ground-littering too? In São Paulo there was the Clean City law but that only banned billboards. I could talk about this until the cows come home but I’d rather come up with some ways of stamping out this problem.
How about imposing heavy fines for littering? This seems to work well in other countries. What kind of measures are in place to prevent this from happening? Is this a “everyone else does it so why shouldn’t I?” issue that probably won’t change or is it just that no one has spearheaded a large enough campaign against it?