Our Waste Management Differences – Culture Shapes US.

Hello my fellow environmentalist, how are you guys doing this wonderful Sunday afternoon? I am currently as tired as can be no relaxing for me today. Had some errands to run in preparation for the week ahead.

But lets talk about this pass week, while traveling home from work on Wednesday afternoon, I met a Nigerian doctor working in Trinidad and Tobago, I am very appreciative of our encounter and the one thing in particular it taught me was how to recognize culture and how much it shape our mind, body and soul. It is quite shocking how a complete stranger can teach you so much about your own culture, it’s like someone on the outside looking in, we could never see our-self. I came up with the idea for this blog post while speaking to this culturally flavored Nigerian man, a conversation I completely enjoyed.

You see our conversation started with food, I love any African food, heck I love food in general so obviously  my conversations usually starts there, lol no seriously. Eventually we began to talk about nature and development, actually we were arguing about which country had better environment and naturally beautiful land space and of course I had to get one in that Lagos the former capital of Nigeria is one of the dirtiest cities in the world because of its poor waste management structure, his point was not that Nigeria don’t have poor waste management habits but that they were better than many other countries like India, Congo, Togo, Guinea Republic at least just the ones I remembered where piles of rubbish lined the streets and the sewage thick layers can be spotted in the near by rivers.

Lagos which means lake is a beautiful island situated in the north east of Nigeria, it is the largest city in Nigeria and fastest growing city in the world read more about Lagos here, my point is that in Trinidad and Tobago we are a bit more conscious of our surroundings, we have a proper working waste management system, in which much improvements need to be made so that we can move away from land-filling to more conservative ways such as reduce, reuse and recycle, but we tend to hold on to our rubbish until we get to a garbage bin usually at every corner. Waste management is an important aspect of my society, my visitor did not share that same view, there are more important thing like education to utilize our resources on, he said.

Waste in Lagos


My friend delightfully informed me that there is no proper rubbish service in his country, hence there is nowhere to put garbage, if your kept it at home it would just pile up to the ceiling, and if you did not want it in your home, you would put it outside wherever you like, it really doesn’t matter. So you might as well just plop it out on the road anywhere.

My overall goal for highlighting this conversation, well I do not intend to insult a country’s struggle with waste management but to reflect and appreciate my government’s efforts to prevent littering, promote recycling and encourage proper waste management habits, it make me much more eager to accept my role of being an environmentally responsible citizen of Trinidad and Tobago.


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