Amsterdam is drowning in garbage.
I think that a garbage collectors’ strike has to be one of the most effective forms of striking that there is. Just one week into things, and the face of the city is noticeably marred by the piles of garbage on every street corner. Fortunately, the weather has been quite cool — so the smell has been less-than-overwhelming — but it’s still an eyesore.
What’s amazing for me is that this strike simply shows what’s always there: the incredible amount of waste that we produce in a city as densely-populated as Amsterdam. That is, Amsterdam always produces this much garbage; it’s just more noticeable in times like this when no one comes and “magically” takes it away.
There’s an obvious ecological dimension to this build-up of trash (underscored by a recent family viewing of the Disney film “Wall-E”). But it also seems to me that there’s an emotional and spiritual element as well. So much garbage all around us, only visible when the system is disrupted… It’s a mess of unimaginable proportion. Even so, it’s good to be reminded of it sometimes and be brought to the point of re-imagining a cleaner, better world.