Thursday, December 08, 2011

Street cleaning in Tirana

Modernization in the capital of Albania has been and is evident on a daily basis. I have watched its progress for almost two decades now, as described from time to time in this blog, but I am still amazed by how certain city services are still conducted today. Street clean-up is one of the services I am referring to.

The garbage trucks are of European standard and the metal collection bins are emptied twice a day (at midday and at midnight). Other mechanized equipment includes also water spraying vehicles that wash down the streets every night,following the trash pickups. But,to my knowledge and observation, I believe that the city is not yet equipped with mechanical sweepers. At least, I have never seen any of them around.

As done traditionally, all street and parks cleaning is still done manually, and it is performed at all hours of the day and night. I suppose this should help unemployment, but, interestingly, the cleaning crews are largely formed by women.

With this week total sunny days are being replaced by mixed weather conditions that include loud, but short storms, alternating with sunny intervals throughout the day, with, at times, very strong, unusual winds. The wet season was very late this year; the color turning of the foliage was beautiful, however, but is not lasting very long because the winds made the golden glow of the leaves disappear quickly.
During the day the women collect the leaves, and then a truck comes by to pick up, while during the night I watched two lonely men, working under pouring rain, one collecting the leaves and the other loading them onto a metal bin on wheels that he pushed by hand along the boulevard…..By the morning the road was clean, but thanks to the wind the process had to be restarted a few hours later.

1 comment:

spencer said...

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