Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Just Inches Away!

I do not get it!

This is something that I cannot comprehend... the things that some people do without thinking a little bit more as to the consequence their deed is affecting others.

It is common practice by residents living in blocks of flat to bag their own rubbish, tie it securely and dump it into the rubbish chute that is available for common use on every floor.

It is quite understandable if big items like furniture are difficult to be thrown away, but it still is the responsibility of the owner to dispose off them properly. The means are given for each person to choose.

Either they bring it down to the designated bulky item disposal area or pay a mere S$5.00 fee by giving a call to the town council for the cleaners to collect it from their homes for disposal.

Recently, we have been plagued with garbage that is left at the rubbish chute area. Not thrown into the chute, but left by it almost every day! The elusive dumper is just inches away from pressing down the chute pedal to open and throwing his day's rubbish into the chute.

The mess it makes when the wind blows the rubbish off its opened bag, or topple it and spewing its contents across the lift landing! At times we can smell the stench of rotting food scraps when we open our door on weekends.

This simple routine of throwing rubbish into the chute seems just too complicated to figure out by a certain individual on our floor.

There are sometimes larger pieces of discarded items at the chute area, items that should be torn apart to smaller pieces that can then be placed into a garbage bag or just fit through the chute hole, but is left there irresponsibly, oblivious to keep the the common place clean and hygienic.

This kind of thing happens sometimes when a new neighbor comes to the block. They care less about disposing their rubbish responsibly. Sometimes, the owner of the house rents out to foreign students or workers, they may not know the proper way of disposing their rubbish.

And at times too, with the same ignorance to the culture here, newly employed foreign maids are the culprits. We know this because we saw and advised one some years back.

Most times, we just ignore the mess they make, hoping that in due time they will come to their senses and be civil about it... attuned to the way we do things here. But as times goes by, the situation does not seem to improve. We are beginning to can get agitated more each passing day with the mess this elusive dumper makes.

The last time this happened was by a new neighbor who had just moved in. The irony of it all was that the culprit worked as a nurse! There were receipts and hospital schedules baring her name we saw when the rubbish spewed all over the floor and blown onto the staircase.

Even the Bangladeshi cleaner was angry at the mess he had to clean up after almost every day. The cleaner asked Wifey one day while she waited for the lift whether she knew who did it.

I finally caught the elusive dumper red-handed one night when we came back from an outing and just so happen to see her dumping her rubbish.

The rubbish chute is near the lift landing, several metres away from our front door. So when the lady came and went off from the chute area without the sound of the self-retracting chute being opened and closed, I was most certain she was the one.

I quickly went over to the chute and discovered the same light yellow plastic bag she carried was left by the chute... by the chute! Not thrown into it when the bag can fit through it.

I took the rubbish bag and went straight to her home to confront her. She denied that the rubbish bag was hers but she knew we saw her with the bag while we were at our front door.

I told her I had witnessed her irresponsible act and would have to report her to the town council if this were to happen again. I left the rubbish bag at her front door asking her to throw it properly, responsibly. She did.

We had never spoken before, so after that incident we did not acknowledge each other whenever we passed one another at the corridor or even while in the lift together. The would be neighborly relationship turned sour before it even started.

Yet, I do not mind. The good thing is that the irresponsible act had stopped. I think good hygiene in our common areas is worth more than a passing "hello."

Now, it looks like I have to stake out again to catch the new elusive dumper...


  1. Well, it's good to know these kinds of things happen in other countries besides the USA. I guess people are the same all over the world. I hate it that that some people don't care about the effect of their actions. Because, let's face it, their actions affect us all.

    "No man is an island."

  2. You go, Buddy!! People need to be respectful, but it's unfortunate when some people don't even respect themselves and this type of behavior will tend to perpetuate itself. So perhaps you taught your neighbor a good lesson. My husband had to "teach" a young man and his girlfriend we'd never seen before one Sunday afternoon. We have 2 acres, more than half of it overgrown with an old orchard which attracts deer and other critters. A mama deer and young fawn had been resting down there as the overgrowth protects them from being seen. This couple was walking their dog, part pitbull, young--8 mos old--and boisterous. The young guy unhooked the dog's leash and LET her go when he saw the deer to chase them!! My husband was outraged and ran out the door screaming, before I even knew what was happening. This kid thought that the dog needed to "get used to" wild animals, his idea by setting her free to run after them, scaring them and, little did he realize, the dog was gone for over 45 mins, lost in the woods, while he had to go and try to find her. She ended up coming back to our yard and all we knew was her name, not the guy's phone # or where he lived. Jeff got the dog into our fenced-in yard but he couldn't get close enough to look at the info on her tag (no license, as required, just a tag with owner #) and 1/2 hr later the guy comes out of the weeds, soaked from the rain with briars and burrs all over him ... and we asked him if he was going to do that again, and he said "no way". We couldn't believe it...he said he didn't think anyone "owned" that piece of property, that he thought it was a "park" for the neighborhood. Geez.......I felt uncomfortable at my husband's harshness at first, but I realized he was so angry that those beautiful deer were disturbed and probably half run to death by that dog who didn't know any better! Plus! he was protecting our cat and his cat friend who comes here everyday to visit. P.S. do you still have your stray cat eating at your home?
    p.s. the way, last night I used your full moon photo to post on my blog, with credit to you, since today is the full moon and your shot is excellent! I should have asked first but I hope you don't mind.
    I'm sorry you have to deal with such "unenlightened" people as neighbors!
    SisSTAR ^;^

  3. Hello Both,

    Thank you for stopping by and relating some experiences.

    Donna | I guess we all are humans after all. In this part of the region, our country is considered very clean and a garden city. It was through many decades of education to the public to keep cleanliness a priority. Tough penalties would be meted out for litter bugs... a drastic practice for the common good which has worked all these years.

    This had to be done when we were third world. Nowadays, the old uncivil acts seem to be slowly but surely a little more rampant it seems.

    Maybe the younger generation needs to have the civil education through campaigns just like we had in our times to remind them to be socially civil. So too should be for the foreigners so as to get accustomed to the culture and civil-responsible practices here.

    Sis*Star | I can understand your hubby's spontaneous reaction because I would have acted the same way.

    Being nature lovers, the deer and fawn is such a blessing to have on your land. Hopefully they will come back to rest there again and not feel threatened or worst, bitten and hurt by the pitbull.

    It is interesting that such lapses in thinking of the consequence of the actions can happen. The good thing at least the owner learns his lesson.

    Imagine the problem here. This act is done almost daily. The selfish and unhygienic act most probably stem from either ignorance, which I doubt, or most probably thinking that there is a cleaner to do the job cleaning up after him/her... making his/her money's worth.

    I cannot stand for this because it affects everyone too, so I have to stake-out again to catch this new elusive dumper to hopefully stop his/her socially irresponsible act.

    Thanks again for coming in. Have a good weekend!


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Muhd Imran
PAL Blogger