The dustbin that never was

Published: August 16, 2010

Just because you can't find a dustbin nearby doesn't mean you have to litter.

Whenever I drive through the streets of Islamabad, I see wrappers of food items littered around the streets. It seems that no one oversee’s garbage disposal in the city. Are we to blame the sweepers for throwing shopping bags on roads?

One summer evening, while going for a casual stroll, I felt thirsty so I bought juice from the Karyana Store. Alas, within a few strides, all I was left with was a cubical-rectangular empty carton. My first thought was to throw it on that lush-green walking track, but something clicked. I decided to look  for a dustbin to dispose of it, but couldn’t find one. I had no choice but to take the box home with me.

Another day I went out with my friends. Just another plan with friends in Islamabad; we went to Rahat Bakers to eat pizza, since they serve the yummiest pizza I’ve ever had in my life. We couldn’t find any place to sit so we decided to put our pizza boxes on the roof of the car and devoured our meal. At the end, we were left with wrappers of ketchup and sauces along with pizza boxes. Instinctively, I thought about throwing it on the road, but I was reminded that I am supposed to be an ethical citizen of Pakistan, and should dispose all the waste in the dustbin. I tried looking for a dustbin, but couldn’t find one. Finally, I placed all the waste in the backseat of my car and went home to dispose of it.

These are two out of many such experiences I’ve had; eventually I realised that not finding a dustbin is no excuse to litter. If there isn’t a trash can nearby, use your pocket or a purse. The day we realise our duties as citizens of this state, we will progress. Above everything else, we often forget that the religion we belong to (Islam), emphasises most on cleanliness as is said “cleanliness is half of Imaan.”


Rana Usman

A free-lance writer who also enjoys taking photographs. He is an under-graduate student of electronic engineering. He tweets @rana_usman

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