Romania is a beautiful country, but you cannot neglect that many historical sites look like a dump. Why this waste management and how did it start?
Ok, let’s start. Waste management in Romania isn’t up to the standard of West European countries. In the cities of Romania, the main streets are clean. Both paid workers and residents do their best to get rid of the trash. Some of the trash ends up on alleyways and is later on inspected by the poorest citizens of the city.
Corruption in Romania on official levels are extensive, and as in Italy, also the waste management is included. Most waste from cities is somehow later placed in city dumps outside the city limits and now the selection starts when residents on the dumps check the garbage for things like metal which can be sold. The residents of the city dump live in simple shelters and stay in periods. Also, the European Commission has criticized how Romania handle garbage,
Waste management and communism
Ok, back to the headline. I always get so sad when I visit old castles, parks, and monuments and see all the garbage that is stored. This is mostly a relic from the communist era under the years 1947-1989.
When the communists came into power, they started to teach the people of Romania how bad and cruel the aristocratic families were. The old beautiful castles all around Romania and especially in Transylvania started to decay in a fast way. The castles were plundered and further on used as a dump. If almost everyone thinks the castles and mansion was a symbol of evil, of course, you can throw your garbage there.
Many castles were also transformed to cattle shelters or kolkhoz.
The real problems with garbage started when the dictator Ceausescu felt in 1989. The capitalistic forces knocked on the door to the newly free market and groceries was now bought and delivered in plastic boxes. The use of plastic materials for one-time-use exploded and in nature, you can still see the result. During the communist era, most package materials were in some way organic and were for the nature possible to decompose.
The people weren’t ready for this quick change, and their behavior, as well as using the castle gardens as a dump still lives on. The result we can see in the pictures taken almost 30 years after the end of communism.