You Will Pay for Your Garbage

I have just learned how much of a double entendre that statement really is. So there is the obvious conservation minded point that with more garbage there is more pollution, (and in the case of Paraguay, more burning of trash releasing CO2 into the atmosphere,) etc etc. So yes, people will most certainly pay for their trash.

But in a more literal sense, I have just learned that people here actually DO pay for their garbage! Within the city limits of Asuncion people pay per year to have their trash collected, but in some of the smaller cities and towns outside of Asuncion, citizens pay a weekly fee to have their garbage collected! The amount of times they come for pick up is negotiated by each town, but varies from about 3-4 days a week. If you don’t pay for it, or if you fight with the garbage collector, (as one of my coworkers told me she had before he simply stopped collecting her trash for good – she now splits the cost with her neighbor,) you will not have the luxury of garbage removal.

For those of us from the U.S. who are used to ONE DAY of garbage pick up and you’d better not put your trash out a day earlier of you’ll be fined, this seems like Asuncion should be the cleanest city in the world. And yet strangely, it is not. I don’t know if people are less cautious since there seems to be an abundance of trash collection going on, or maybe people just don’t care, but there is definitely trash on the street and in the streams. Guess they will have to pay for their trash one way or another!

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