Luyano, Turned into Cuba’s Most Famous Garbage Dump, Screams for Help

Varias esquinas poco céntricas de Luyanó siguen dominadas por gigantescos vertederos. (14ymedio)
Several out-of-the-way corners in Luyano are still dominated by gigantic garbage dumps. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Natalia López Moya, Havana, 25 November 2023 — In Luyanó the word has spread. If the mountains of garbage are reported in the independent media, it is very likely that Community Services will arrive shortly afterwards to collect them. The equation is clear: call a reporter to take photos and testimonies and, within 24 hours, fuel for the waste hauling trucks will magically appear.

Residents near the corner of Melones and Luyanó avenue put the formula into practice. Last Thursday they contacted 14ymedio and on Friday the huge garbage dump that had been growing in the place for weeks had already disappeared. However, a few yards away, on another street that has not appeared in the news, waste covers the sidewalk and more than half of the road, preventing the passage of vehicles.

“Come and report on the garbage!” cried a neighbor this Friday afternoon who, from her window, saw a journalist from this newspaper approaching the place. “A child who does not cry does not suck; he who does not report them gets the flies in his throat,” warned the woman who lives very close to the corner of Enna and Guasabacoa, converted into “the Cayo Cruz of the neighborhood (Havana’s most famous garbage dump).”

Los contenedores volcados y los montones de desechos señorean en todas partes. (14ymedio)
Overturned containers and mountains of waste dominate everywhere. (14ymedio)

While the “king of garbage dumps” at Rodríguez and Reforma was documented by the independent press and reduced almost to a 10th of its size by the Community Services, shortly after its publication on the internet, while other nearby streets and avenues have not experienced the same outcome. The overturned containers, the pile of plastic bags that have been broken by the sun, the wind and the fangs of stray dogs, dominate everywhere.

The smell of filth gets so deep into the houses of Luyanó that people try to keep the doors and windows closed so that it doesn’t fill everything. “My grandson is newborn and we have him in the last room, with a curtain and everything in front of the door so that this stench doesn’t spread to him,” says another resident near the corner of Infanzón and Juan Alonso. Adults, for their part, seem to have taken on the “aromas.” “Here people already smell like that, we smell like garbage and they treat us like garbage.”


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