A picture published in this paper yesterday showed a dismal state of a good idea gone wrong. The hundreds of waste bins that were set up all over the city as part of the Clean Dhaka campaign by the DNCC and DSCC mayors for better garbage management in the city was without a doubt a good idea which had the potential to make our city cleaner. Instead, what the pictures show, are missing or damaged bins. Previously, too, we had published pictures of these bins overflowing with garbage or missing from their holders. What this points to are two-fold: one, that as inhabitants of the city, we are utterly indifferent to its cleanliness, and two, the authorities did not think the idea through before implementation.
Indeed, to talk about the second point, the authorities should have taken into account the feasibility of such an idea. Through beta testing on specific areas, they could have evaluated how these bins would fare, and then taken that into consideration in terms of design and material used. Significant public money was used to install these bins. So, if they end up unusable or stolen, it is money lost for no good reason. To add to that, there seems to have been a disregard about the bins upkeep and maintenance after installation. Pictures of broken and un-emptied bins reveal that, alongside the fact that after installation, there has been no effort to make sure these are kept usable.
If such a good idea is to be useful to make Dhaka cleaner, then the authorities need to go beyond their role in installation. But now that the bins are there, ensuring proper management and protecting against theft should be issues of priority.