I spent most of today getting rid of various kinds of rubbish – it’s all a bit different here if you’re used to kerbside collections and recycling banks! I do separate my rubbish though, oh yeah:
Organic – goes in a bucket outside the door (it was in the kitchen, but with the rainy season come the flies and it was getting unpleasant). Eventually it gets fed to Rosa’s pig – it used to go to Susanna & Fortunato’s, but they slaughtered theirs for Easter. Pigs can eat everything, apparently, except egg shells.
Paper (which includes toilet paper; Guatemalan plumbing isn’t designed to cope with it so you have to throw it in a bin) – gets burned in the garden every once in a while. I’ve discovered that cardboard is harder to burn than you think, and that burning a VCR manual still looks unpleasantly like book burning.
Cans – get collected in the kitchen (a testament to my coke habit) and eventually taken to my friend’s house. A man comes round to collect them and pays about five centavos per can. I guess I could take that money myself, but my friend and her family need it more than I do.
Grass – I have come up with the perfect solution for getting the grass cut in the garden – just let the sheep in! There are a mother and daughter who graze their flock near the school anyway, so once the grass is long enough I let them come in. They take about three days to reduce it from over a foot tall to nothing! (Bonus: cute lambs in my garden :))
Everything else – collected in bin bags the usual way . . . then taken to the municipal rubbish dump. That is a place you need to see to believe it (photos to follow) – it’s just a hill side where people (legally) throw their rubbish. Road at the top, corn fields at the bottom, as well as plenty of stray dogs and vultures. Occasionally people set fire to it, so there’s less of it . . .