Trinidadian rubbish

I’ve written previously about Mark’s Mailbox, the letters section of Canadian journalist Mark Steyn’s web site, but I just had to share the following excerpt from a piece of fan mail published there this week:

Mark, I’m a long-time reader going back to National Post. As it happens, I’m a Canadian actuary currently living and working in Trinidad, a beautiful and wonderful country where we get garbage pick-up 4 times a week, no limit on number of bags or anything, no recycling, they take it all, and you couldn’t find nicer, more courteous guys – stark contrast from that socialist paradise Chrétien is so proud of, where the unions have the run of the place…

Gene Dziadyk
Westmoorings by the Sea
Trinidad, West Indies

People are strange. Since when is a great place to live defined by the frequency of the garbage collection? How much rubbish does Mr. Dziadyk produce in a average week? And when did a failure to recycle become a good thing?

On the other hand, perhaps the lack of recycling is a good thing in Trinidad. Some years ago, a Rough Guide television programme about Trinidad was broadcast, in which the country’s poor were shown crawling all over the municipal dump in search of things to use or sell. The narrator explained that this shocking behaviour was necessary because Trinidad had no welfare system for its unemployed whatsoever. So the lack of recycling presumeably means better pickings for Trinidad’s poor.

The saying one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold clearly applies in this case; not just to Trinidad’s poor, but also apparently to Mr. Dziadyk.

PS – What deluded developer came up with the name Westmoorings by the Sea? It sounds like it should be in Sussex; not near Port-of-Spain, Chaguaramas, Guayaguayre, or Tunapuna. It would be just as appropriate to call the place Beaulieu-sur-Mer.