After emptying the water bottle, Aminul Islam looked around for a suitable place to discard it. Eventually he found one -- the street -- and dropped the bottle there. He did not have a choice.
This is also the most common scenario a Dhaka city resident would imagine. But the mayor of the south, Sayeed Khokon, has taken an initiative to alter that behaviour.
Dhaka South City Corporation has decided to set up 15,000 small bins in its area by this year.
“We have already started placing the waste bins as part of our campaign to keep the city clean,” Khokon said. He said DSCC launched a public awareness campaign to keep the city clean at the beginning of this year. He said they were urging people not to throw waste here and there.
But it is also the duty of the city corporation to provide necessary logistics to discard waste in a particular place, and setting up waste bins is part of that effort, he said.
The mayor will inaugurate the bins shortly.
It was noticed that people were using the bins. However, there is a contradictory picture as well -- garbage is spilling over large dumpsters in the very areas where the small bins were set up.
The mayor said DSCC did not get land to build waste transfer stations in Old Dhaka but would surround garbage containers with steel fencing to make them out of people's sight.
DSCC has started constructing 10 transfer stations and will build more if they get land, he added.
Khandokar Millatul Islam, additional chief waste management officer of DSCC, said 1,700 waste bins were set up already.
He said they were installing the bins on a priority basis -- crowded places first. Asked about public response, he said people were using the bins but were putting household garbage there too. The bins actually are meant for light waste like plastic bottles or wrappings, he added.
Garbage management workers of DSCC collect the waste from the bins after 7:00pm every day.