I am following "Part 1" way after the fact but deal with it. This post is going to be short but documents a big moment in Upire!
We finally got our TRASH CANS! :) It only took about 10 months...
Nearly 10 short months ago my youth group and I went to the Alcaldia (local Mayor's office) to solicit trash cans for our community. Our main reason for soliciting at this time was the impending inauguration of Dia de Comercio. We figured that a lot more trash would build up on Saturday mornings (and it does) and that it would be the perfect time for Upire to take the next step in trash management and educating the community that in some fancy places trash goes in a trash can. Our local Mayor read our proposal, our plan for dealing with the trash, and promised the trash cans to us at that meeting. Apparently there were some problems with the man in charge of the environment sector of the Mayor's office and we are just now getting our trash cans. Those problems lasted 10 months I guess. Oh well, typical development time frame here in El Sal. Needless to say, we are excited especially since we want to have them for our one year anniversary in August. We received 6 big trash cans which are strategically located around the main sector of Upire.
FYI: Trash maintenance is challenging here. In small rural communities there are no trash cans, no trash collection, or much recycling. Streets are either covered in trash or small piles of ashes where people have done the only thing they can do with their garbage, which means burning it. I am not sure if you have ever burned large amounts of trash but it is disgusting. Not only is it the bothersome smoke and fumes but also imagine the dirty, grimy job of burning used toilet paper. Unfortunately, burning trash is a way of life here. There is not much else people can do to dispose of their waste. What would you do? Travel 1.5 hours on a bus with your nasty toilet paper in tow to throw it in a trash can? I don't think so. Progress has been made in some ways though, especially in the area of recycling. The school and community members have learned (when they don't toss them on the ground) to save plastic bottles and resist the urge to burn them. Our Mayor then buys those products so that people collect them, resist the urge to burn them, and make a small profit.
The hope that with these new trash cans we can begin the slow process of educating the people of Upire to put the trash in those locations rather than on the street. The youth group has promised to take care of the trash cans and collect the trash (when we do our weekly cleaning round) and either (depending on what it is) send it to be recycled or burn it on behalf of the community. Hopefully this is a temporary solution and soon enough we hope Upire will have some type of maintenance service that will take care of the trash collected (actually IN the cans) so that it does not have to be burned. (this might take many, many years)
Until then, take this as a reminder to thank your garbage men. They do an amazing service ;)