• Elmina Fabon Fallar


THE seven works of man considered the most remarkable in the ancient world are: Egyptian pyramids, the hanging gardens of Babylon, the temple of Diana at Ephesus, the statue of Zeus by Phidias at Olympia, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Pharos or lighthouse of Alexandria.

There are also “wonders” of modern waste and garbage disposal. Look at it.

Toilets are found in all kinds of locations where large groups of people usually gather - markets, schools, churches, hospitals, shopping malls, restaurants, etc. But the wonder of it is that the favorite place where some of our gentlemen love to urinate are in public places where signs are posted which warn the male specie, BAWAL ANG UMIHI DITO.

When you’re walking far from home and the call of nature suddenly disturbs you, you may do your own thing in one of these public toilets. There are beautiful faucets in some of them - highly polished spigots - but surprising to see that very often not a single drop of water comes out through them.

By the way, don’t forget to bring along with you your own tissue or toilet paper because these things don’t exist there. I pray that the time will never come when you have to bring your own toilet bowl.

During summer, when the grass is brown and the countryside is parched, smokers seem to be extremely happy throwing away their lighted cigarette butts where there are tall dry blades of cogon grass or other combustible materials. A gentle breeze blows these embers into a hell of roaring conflagration anytime.

Everyone knows that green leaves and other wet matter won’t burn easily. But some (including a neighbor) still try to burn them in a slow fire which produces smoke for many hours - for the benefit of asthmatics and those with emphysema and other respiratory ailments.

Many put garbage in containers with very light covers or even without any cover at all. Consequently, cats and dogs bring out the contents especially at night. In the morning roads are littered with leftover food, disposable diaper, sanitary napkin, etc.

Positive, comparative and superlative are three degrees of adjectives. In Filipino, the intensive and fourth degree is added. Think of this: Maliit (small) mas maliit (smaller) napakaliit (very small) pinakamaliit (smallest). Indeed we’re very good classifiers.

But classifying our garbage into biodegradable and non-biodegradable seem too difficult. We make “halo halo” out of the garbage in one container. Newspapers, broken glass, vegetable matter, fruit peelings, aluminum cans, plastics, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc. All these to the wonder of the management of the solid waste program in our town.

There are experts in basketball. They are sharpshooters, able to shoot the ball through the ring even at a very far distance. The surprise of it is when they are told to throw the trash away, they can’t put it through the wide opening of the garbage bin. They throw them outside the receptacle of the garbage bin to the great joy of the dogs, cats, pigs, rats, street urchins, etc.

Others who are truly ignorant of how to save the earth, especially passers-by throw waste and garbage in canals. Student boarders throw napkins at the back of our house. Kadiri!!!

These are the wonders of garbage and waste disposal. We consider them somewhat funny, but really garbage and waste disposal is a serious business, if we don’t do something about these -- the wonder might come - our town might be buried beneath a high mountain of garbage and waste.

Long lasting litter

Litterbugs leave a lasting impression. The National Geographic Travelers reveals how long it takes for various bits of trash to decay.

Cigarette butt -5 years

plastic bag - 20 years

aluminum can - 100 years

glass bottle-i million years.

Sources: The New International Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language. De Luxe Encyclopedia Edition, Health and Home

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