1. June 2018

Waste wherever the eye looks

Chile: Waste wherever the eye looks

Not everything is nice, what you get to see while traveling. Coming from Europe (and from clean Switzerland!), travelers soon realize that the Chileans have a completely different attitude towards waste disposal than we do! Here nature is often abused as a big trash can.

We gladly admit it: It is difficult for us to overlook this special kind of waste disposal. We often wonder if the Chileans don’t see this? It seems that way, because otherwise it cannot be explained that they dispose of garbage at the places they return for a picnic. (We experienced the same phenomenon in Iran when we were invited to a picnic on a “waste dump.” When we asked our hosts in horror if they did not mind, they answered “no,” spread a blanket and put it down about the garbage.)

Almost the same thing we see traveling Chile. Looking for a nice, quiet place in the evening (no barking dogs that can be found everywhere!), we often find a garbage instead of a picnic area! Unbelievable, what is disposed of here: sofas, TV screens, refrigerators and other unappetizing things. Just awful.

We asked ourselves why that is. Maybe because the country is so big and sparsely populated? Chile has 292,000 square  and 18 million inhabitants. (Here 23 people live on one square kilometer, in Switzerland 204). Around 40% of the population live in Greater Santiago; the remainder is spread over the sparsely populated north and south. In between, it has so much space to dispose one’s waste.

Too bad that the Chileans do not care better for their beautiful country!