The recent issue with Sukleen – no garbage pick-up all weekend – has left our capital city’s trash bins overflowing with its residents’ garbage. I took a Sunday drive today and couldn’t help but feel that this epidemic seems like an analogy of how we have been responding to our country’s failures in general. We know the garbage is not going to be collected but we continue to let it accumulate in the designated spots. We keep following the drill, stacking the bags on top or just compressing the existing ones to make more room. Some people have even resorted to burning the contents to make room. The bins drown in waste surrounded by rat poison while we Instagram the carnage and add #Lebanon.
We document, we complain, and we continue with our lives. We repeat the same mistakes and the same behavior. We throw away our trash and let it create mountains of repulsive rotting rubbish in the middle of our city because we assume that someone else will take care of it. Someone else will do something.
Maybe in this case, the case of Sukleen and Naameh, it is someone else’s battle. Maybe it’s the Ministry of Environment’s fault? What can we do about it anyway? I am no better than anyone else. I do the same thing: try to live my life and think that, perhaps, someone else who’s responsible for this – not me or you – will fix it and it’ll all blow over.
But who says we’re not responsible? It’s our country after all, isn’t it?