The Garbage Dumps

n a recent article I mentioned the fact that 25 years ago there was no garbage truck and, therefore, no garbage disposal system. It was also recalled that the villagers all lit fires in their yards to burn old wood, branches, leaves, carton boxes, etc. But what about household garbage like left over food, tin cans, glass bottles, etc., that did not bum? Was that left piled up at a comer or buried?

That brings me to the subject on the garbage dump that served the needs of this fishing village of some 500 inhabitants 25 years ago. Where were they located? The villagers had cut a path from the back street or Angel Coral Street leading to the lagoon. Every street that* leads to the lagoon was once used as a garbage dumpsite and usually garbage was dumped on one side the south side of the street. All of these streets also led to a public toilet that sat right over the water.

It is no offence, but all those homes from the corners of the back street to the lagoon are actually sitting on buried dumpsites. When these heaps of garbage were too high and covering the footpath, the village council authorized the burning of the garbage and a few volunteers helped spread the ashes, which was used as landfill. Every year or so the garbage was burnt and the dumpsite was ready once again.

Garbage was taken by wheelbarrow or bags. i Yes, it stank, but no one lived on back street nor on those lanes to the lagoon.. Did it create flies? Yes, but sea breeze kept them from penetrating the village. Did it breed rats? Yes, and that was a problem for those who lived near the sites, so whenever the site was burnt, the villagers were very pleased.

And we can recall many children picking objects on the dumpsite, breaking bottles with their slingshots, and getting serious cuts or punctures on their feet as they roamed these areas. But that was our official dumpsite in the 1950's and the village was happy with it. You should have listened to the complaints and uproar when the village council officially closed them down!

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