I went for a long walk along the beaches towards the Christo Rei statue recently and was amazed at the amount of rubbish washed up on the sand. I suspect most of it was flushed out of the Dili city drains after recent rains and later deposited to the east of town.
This area on the east side just happens to be touristy/relaxation side with restaurants and often used for exercise. It looks bad.
Another related thing is the slowly increasing size of the ad-hoc dump on the top of “Ramos-Horta hill” (as it is often called). Right at the top of this hill (which has sweeping views of the seaside below) is a small area which is used to dump rubbish. It is at the top of a natural drainage path, which in heavy rain probably runs like a torrent.
This drain empties into the bay area occupied by Caz Bar, Sol e Mar and as it looks right now, one or two more new establishments in the making. This is probably the most heavily utilised relaxation spot in Dili. This area is also behind a reef which at low tide extends a long way out, so any “pollution” entering this area, has a bit of a struggle getting flushed out.
It is my guess that if this situation is left too long, horrible nasties will eventually leach out of this dump into the natural drain and end up in this nice touristy recreation area. And as it is behind the reef, the nasties will more than likely settle in the area behind the reef.
This situation applies on the Dili side of “Ramos-Horta hill”. But on the other side, the amount of urban rubbish being dumped is steadily increasing. Maybe I am too sensitive, but it is becoming a disgrace. Piles of rubbish dumped on the once pristine areas of the foreshore. Try to find a clean spot to park near the water amongst the trees and you are more than likely going to find a pile of bottles or cans etc. Fortunately, the dogs and pigs have snaffled out all the usable organic matter before it arrives on the beach.
Some of the used bottles do get recycled as containers for fuel, tua, and honey. However, it is a pity that there is no noticeable domestic waste recycling industry here because if there was a return for all the empty glass bottles, plastic bottles and cans, I am sure there are plenty of people who will clear it up.
Perhaps I should have been more specific. There is an active metal recycling industry here. The main problem appears to be plastics and non-aluminium cans. There were 2 recent observations which makes me think aluminium recycling is happening.
Firstly, being woken up at 5am with the garbage being ratted through for aluminium cans and the unmistakable crunching of the cans. And secondly, a small truck full of empty aluminium cans passing by. Things I had not noticed until recently.
Plastic water bottles seem to be the most unsightly aspect of all this as far as the beaches are concerned but dumping out east of Christo Rei is mainly bottles and metal food cans.
Kate tells me that she has seen a vehicle with a sign “Sosa Aluminum”, which basically means “will buy aluminium cans”.