Friday, March 16, 2012

Hazardous Waste Around The City

With today's post, I would like to address people who lack a conscience, who get paid to throw away toxic waste in rural areas, where there are homes and water wells. I pay taxes for the government to regulate toxic waste and to take care of this problem, and yet nothing seems to change.

For example, toxic waste sits untended in the backyard of Mrs. Faten Gebril, a wife and a mother, who occupies an apartment in a densely populated building in Khaldeh. From her balcony, she can see the work of a man who goes by the last name of Al Jerdi and who gets paid by people and businesses who want to get rid of their waste. He gladly obliges by dumping this material in Gebril's yard and neighborhood. At the end of the day, this land is not his, and - if he does his job secretly - the waste is no longer his problem

Gebril says, "I am worried about the water we drink, and that we shower with. We tried to complain about this problem to the government. They took him, but he was released a week later." This post is not about glamour; it is about mourning. Al Jerdi is still out there littering, perhaps fatally so.

Gebril is right to worry as illegal dumping can lead to biomagnification, which means that toxins are pooled and strengthened as they work their way up the food chain, from tiny bacteria all the way up to humans. According to environmentalists, there are many safe ways to dispose of toxic waste (here is a practical guide). We should try as much as possible to follow the standard guidelines and not allow toxic waste to lie around and seep into our water.

Wake up people! Protest! Please look around you as the situation is miserable. If you can live with this kind of garbage, then you deserve it. As Voltaire put it, "We must cultivate our own garden."