Like Philippines, Dubai has trash problems too but...


Pictures of trash left by holiday revelers in Manila has been doing rounds in social media and all angst are pointed towards the people.

A peek in one of the comment thread about the pictures of trash in Luneta Park

I'm with you.

While I agree, we seem to be ignoring another perspective.

Trash happens everywhere, even in first-world countries like the US, UK and even here in UAE. Out of millions of people attending huge gatherings, only at least 20% (or slightly even more) will leave trash. In the Philippines, this gets magnified by the media to look like everyone in the crowd are irresponsible.

In cities like Dubai, ON EVERY EVENT, the crowd is aware that cleaners are around during and after events. Their visibility tells people they will take care of the garbage. Similar to a food court behavior of many of us. We are aware that cleaners will pick-up our leftover trays so we can just leave our table when we're done.

I am not at all coming in defense of the irresponsible. I'm just saying that authorities should always be aware about this fact, and should have a strategy in place to keep it orderly and clean.

Because of social media, every detail of an event is "newsworthy" even garbage shares the same limelight with the main highlights of any event.

What Dubai Did

Dubai, in the video below also has a share of trash problem during events. But look what happened after just 3 hours. The government's strategic approach make the environment look clean again in no time.

If local authorities in Manila have implemented similar 'basic' strategies like providing more trash bins, or deploying more cleaning personnel during and after the celebrations, we could've seen photos going viral for a more pleasant reason.

And people, if you can't find any trash bins, carry your leftovers until you see one okay. This is not about Filipinos alone, it's about every human who walks the earth.

Imagine - if people and government are both responsible - what a clean environment it would be.

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