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Recycling Nepal mmm

Updated: Mar 22

I was asked to try and get a time-lapse of rubbish coming down a river, and this was an 11thHour request from a third party. I knew of an area I could do this, but due to the lack of rubbish coming down the river I could not make a suitable time-lapse. So as I trying to let the camera do its work I started looking around and realised that in the middle of the river was a bank. However this was no ordinary bank in a river. I took my long telephoto lens and zoomed in and what I saw, mind you it took a while to work it out.

The bank was not of normal dirt, but layers and layers of dust and plastic bags.

Then it occurred to me that all the plastic bags that were banned over 2 years ago, had either floated here or been put deliberately here (out of site and out of mind). The roads arounds Nepal are very dusty due to them being unmade and just concrete and stones make up the surface, so the whole air is full of dust and eventually falls to the ground. I was in Nepal in October 2017, and I can tell you the plastic bags are available by the cart load, so to speak and a plastic bag with every purchase is almost obligatory, so this ban is not working, or they have got around it somehow.


Looking up river, as I returned to the main town. I looked at what was happening opposite to me. People were sorting through rubbish on the other side of the river. I could see them sorting plastic bottles, and other things, then at the edge of the bank of the river I saw mounds of rubbish that could not be reclaimed for cash or recycled. That was their rubbish bin from the recycling, so instead of disposing of it somewhere like a land fill, they used the river as their landfill!. So what is under that bank, heaven only knows, but I bet you it is very toxic and unhealthy, as again the air stank of rotting food and other items.

Then I heard a splash which I thought was someone thing falling into the river. By the time I found the culprit, he upturned a whole plastic bin of rubbish directly off a bridge into the river and walked off. No one stopped him, he just vanished into the traffic. I only wish I could have captured this in video. I do wonder about why people do this, and not take care of their environment around where they work and live.

Just before I turned into the town, I saw another load of rubbish going into a small yard, full of rubbish waiting to be sorted by hand and the items that can be sold, would be taken out and the remainder just dumped into the river with the belief that the river will take care of it.







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© 2020 Michael Crawford-Hick

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