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Keep a lid on it

By Lucie Robson

Winter has its cozy charms, spring is uplifting and summer gives license for indulgence but my favourite season in any country I have lived in is autumn. Cyprus is no exception. The days gradually become shorter but, in Paphos, the autumn sunsets over the sea are atmospheric every day of the year.

I pity my friends who tell me they feel depressed when they start to see dying vegetation and register the change in the light that are signs that summer is over and autumn’s arrival is only a few weeks away. These same changes that make them feel flat make me happy.

The very slight drop in the temperature is also a relief not least of which because the reek of garbage piled up in rubbish vats on the street goes from nauseating to merely noticeable.

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It never fails to amaze me how some people deal with their trash in Paphos. Cyprus is a hot country so where is the consideration to people living nearby in tossing rubbish, bagged or, even worse, unbagged, into the public vats that are dotted around the streets – without pulling the lid to a close afterwards?

In the warmth, it doesn’t take long for this refuse to start reeking to high heaven. Often, it’s so bad, your instinct is to cover your mouth with a hanky when you pass by so as not to catch an airborne disease.

Garbage gets generated regardless of scheduled rubbish pick-ups so, of course, gets tossed into these bins day and night and festers for days before collection.

Not only do people throw their putrid garbage into these bins without sealing them afterwards, they sometimes pile trash in a heap so that, even if someone wanted to, they couldn’t shut it.

Sometimes it’s the fault of the bin. It’s wonky in some way and simply won’t close no matter how much you yank at it which makes you think it’s time for a better, more hygienic design. Many don’t even have lids.

These public bins are usually positioned for communal use in spots where there are apartment buildings. There is always an unlucky tenant whose flat is a stone’s throw from these open rubbish piles which must be disgusting.

Solutions could be increased rubbish collections and more and better bins but a start could be employing the lid for its design function and, where possible, actually shutting it.

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