MAD MAX AND THE MUNICIPAL LANDFILL          - 11/2/2008      <--Prev : Next-->

The Trash Story

Our household trash had not been collected since before Christmas ... and with flies becoming a serious health hazard ... our trusty horticulturist and I decided to take a trip to the Municipal Landfill site !!

Now this trip is not to be taken lightly I can assure you... the municipal landfill has an aura all of it's own, as well as an odour all of it's own !!

Gathering up the neighbours' trash too, we set off most pungently down the road.... we had removed everything from the truck that was not bolted down, including the rubber mat that protects the lining of the truck.

What goes into a Municipal Landfill site in Zimbabwe seldom re-emerges trust me !!

As we approached the dump, doors firmly locked, windows rolled up tight, as if by magic, emerged from the tall grass, the most amazing collection of raggle taggle gypsies you have ever seen.

They were undoubtedly human, but their eyes were raging red and bloodshot, their hair matted with dirt and their clothes were held together with dung clotted threads.

I had been warned of this this heart breaking sight, but nothing could ever lead me to believe that people actually existed in this sub human way.

Racing to the truck, they heaved themselves over the sides and as we drove, they rummaged furiously through our miserable, stinking, maggot ridden refuse.

Bottles and plastic bags were tucked into torn shirts, scraps of fetid food were stuffed voraciously into gaping mouths .... nothing could ever have prepared me for this heartbreaking experience.

We dutifully went to pay at the Municipal office, but the supervisor graciously allowed us through without paying !! We were after all doing the job of the city council ...

As we approached the dumping area, the stinking rotting fumes that emanated from the trash parted, and dozens of grey ghostly figures, the tattered remnants of human beings, could be seen scrabbling slowly, as if in a trance, through the morass of mud and filth.

Mad Max and his gang leapt off the truck, the trash miraculously dragged off with them, and began to fight over a box of wine bottles. No one bothers with re-cycling in Zimbabwe, these sad scarecrow scavengers do it for us ....

Timidly opening the window a tiny bit I had the temerity to ask who they would be voting for next month ?

Would they perhaps be voting against a government which had reduced them to being the very dregs of humanity ?

Perhaps they like this odious life of theirs, perhaps this abject filth and misery is all they have ever known, but as one they gave me an answer that I did not want to hear .....