Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Diapers, Garbage and Dogs

There are actually only two things that annoy me in Laos: One is burning trash and the other thing is placing open baskets full of garbage on the streets. There is NO sense of locking the garbage in a plastic bucket that keeps it safe from dogs. So what happens is that dogs see (or better smell) the trash with all it's eatable contents and distribute it all over the streets. More serious is that since now also diapers are part of the waste, dogs seem to like them the most. The result you can see in the picture below.
I think this may result in a serious public health threat. Open diapers with baby poop in the streets may attract any kind of animals, from rats to viruses.
Oh, and don't blame the dogs. If it's not dogs that pull out that stuff, it will be cats or rats or .... Laos needs a proper waste management. Replace bamboo baskets with lockable plastic boxes and put them only on the street when it is collection day - done. It is easy and not even expensive. It is not a matter of money or culture, it is a matter of will.



  1. Same in Vietnam Thomas. However I disagree with your comment "put them only on the street when it is collection day" - what are you supposed to do with the rubbish until collection day? Rubbish starts to smell VERY quickly in this climate! Luckily in Vietnam every day is collection day anyway :)

  2. Well, the plastic tons with the lids can stay in the yard of the houses until collection day ... same like we do and we are not bothered by smell (but the open bamboo baskets or plastic bags smell ...). And even if they are kept in front of the house - as long as they have a secure lid / cover which cannot be opened by animals it would be OK.

  3. in my village (south Vientiane), it's better organized. Garbage out only the collect day. But garbage burning is sometime a problem here to ... :(