Castles of Trash

(Opinion article)

Every time I take a trip home from Kyiv to my native Pavlograd I feel it like a journey. The sound of trains, outside the window – beautiful landscapes: from snowy valleys in winter to green gardens in spring. The pictures flash one after another: fields, forests and … tons of garbage, instead of a flourishing land, an urban nightmare. I call it a castle of trash.

In our country, as in the world, there are many problems. Social, economic, but, especially, ecological. And we must take the latter into account because our lives depend on them.

I believe that the problem of waste disposal in Ukraine is more acute than ever. Every Ukrainian creates about 330 kg of garbage a year, and landfills and dumps take out 11 million tons of household waste. No matter how surprising it may sound, 5 percent of the territory of our country is covered with rubbish (this could be compared with the size of Chernivtsi region). Looking at the garbage dumps from the train window, every time I think that soon this ocean of garbage will cover us like a tsunami.

In Ukraine, this issue has been raised before. There were a large number of garbage sorting attempts, but the problem was not even that the government failed to force people to accept the new rules. This simply does not make sense, because sorted garbage still goes to landfills! Here more radical measures are needed.

First, Ukraine must build waste recycling plants. This will not only help the environment but also help people build a good business on this. Secondly, it is worth explaining to people with the help of laws about how important it is to sort the garbage. I believe that the sorting culture should be forcibly introduced by introducing fines.

For me, South Korea is an example in this area. At the moment, it is the first among the countries of the world for recycling. As many experts write, if not for serious work in this direction, South Korea would have already drowned in its own garbage. The government of the country, realizing the horror of the situation, took action. It took more than 15 years to create a culture that the whole world admires today; to inculcate consciousness in its people through persuasion, fines and other punishments, but in the end, South Korea improved the ecological situation.

Of course, Ukraine has bad economic and social indicators, but I believe in change. If everyone starts with himself or herself and then brings it to the state level, Ukraine will be able to start this difficult path and destroy the garbage castles we built. So, dear students, don`t be indifferent, let`s launch an anti-garbage campaign together, in social and printed media, in our hearts and souls. We are to take away the garbage castles from our way to Europe!   

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