“Lord” or “Lady” -whatever has taken on a specific meaning in Mexico City… people who become instant celebrities for some anti-social act which they then follow up with a self-justification or entitlement. The latest to receive the “dishonorific” is “LadyBasura”, “Lady Trash”, who was charged with throwing trash in the street and causing a public disturbance. Had she picked up her trash, there wouldn’t have been any newsworthy story here, and she earned her title for her behavior towards the officers who tried to reason with her, and with the subsequent story that although she apparently has a job with her delegacion, her penalty for throwing trash in the street (defined in the Federal District Code as a fine ranging from 1,345 to 13,458 pesos, and/or 13 to 24 days in jail) was reduced to 69 pesos (about US$4.20) on the argument that she was without an income.
Although there’s no question that LadyBasura was acting like a self-entitled jerk, I think most of us in Chilangolandia are in something of a bind when it comes to dumping our trash. While I suppose it is possible to be home, or have someone home, when the trash collectors come by (around 10… or 11 … or whenever) during the day, and hear them ringing their bell, and run down the stairs, unlock the gate, get around the cars blocking the driveway, out to the street and hand it to the collector, ain’t gonna happen.
Even in an advantaged neighborhood like mine (Roma Sur) good luck finding a public trash bin. We are fortunate that up on the corner, there is enough of a berm for people to pile trash the night before. Whether we can be fined for that I can’t say, but with the trash from everyone within two or three blocks piling up on one corner, of course, its going to end up in the street. And even with most of us in the neighborhood boxing or bagging the trash accidents happen, the collectors don’t get everything, or animals and recyclers pick through the bags and … well, the situation is far from ideal.
I’m all in favor of reduce, recycle and reuse, and I’ve long supported reforms in trash collection here. I try to keep our own trash to a minimum, and with recyclables not being easily disposed of, I bag them separately so the”freelancers” aren’t just ripping through bags of dog poop and orange peels and burnt dinners looking for the good stuff. Still, it’s a mess. The District Assembly, as it has too often, wrote a good law, with no way for citizens to easily comply. There just aren’t any trash cans or dumpsters for us to use, and no one seems to have considered the issue.
It’s not the sexiest urban design project, but couldn’t someone come up with neighborhood dumpsters that are esthetic enough to sit on street corners in our neighborhoods? Then, when self-entitled jerks DO break the rules, we can all mock them with a bit less hypocrisy.