Jordan’s Enviro-Cops

According to a Jordan Times article, an environmental police force consisting of 900 men will begin ‘enviro-policing’ in September of this year. From Amman to Aqaba, in the north, south, and central regions. Some will be on horseback patrolling the forests. Minister of Environment Khalid Irani says the initiative is the first in the region. We are talking about a police force that is specifically trained for protecting the environment.

This doesn’t mean they go around cleaning up our garbage but rather fining all the litter bugs. Why does the word litter bug sound so cute? It conjures images of harmless ladybugs. Actually the word “litterbug” is a take on the term “jitterbug”, a dance that took White America by storm in the late 30’s and early 40’s before the Macarena was imported.

Anyways, I digress…

The Enviro-Cops, which I think is better than calling them the “PSD”, will be issuing fines instead. How much will you be paying for throwing that Pepsi can in the street? Yeah you!

Well it’ll range from a 20 JD penalty for trash thrown from a car, to 200 JDs for cutting a tree. And the biggies will be 10,000 to 50,000 JDs for “infractions related to hazardous and nuclear materials”. So if you’re in the process of refining uranium at home please dispose of it as soon as possible.

It’s a great initiative to tell you the truth. I would’ve just trained the normal cops to, I don’t know, do their jobs. But what the heck. It does the double duty of changing people’s mentalities when it comes to the environment, especially cops wearing different uniforms, that’s a marketing campaign all on its own.

20JD fines will probably be the most common. I’ve been thinking to myself what is the most common form of littering.

There’s the pepsi cans, the bottle caps, the cigarettes, the plastic bags, the wrapping paper for falafal and shawarma sandwiches, plastic bottles. The list is endless but I think those are the main ones in Amman from the everyday people.

I wish there was a greater education initiative especially for the kids in schools and I wish they increased the number of trash cans. And I hope a lot of people get fined so they can learn their lesson. But my father always says that ‘if you tell a Jordanian not to shit, he’ll shit in his place’ (just because you told him not to). That sounded better in Arabic. I hope that literally does not happen because I think people shitting everywhere would really be harmful to the environment. Maybe we need reverse psychology.

Anyways, I hope the initiative is successful and then maybe we can move on to fining trucks that have their exhaust pipes spewing clouds of black fumes in our faces.

“…where were we?”


  • Inshallah ya rab kol wa7ad bermi war2a z3’eireh he will be fined , it is one of the greatest thing that annoy me to see someone infront of me throwing something away , how dare they ! it un-human !!!!

  • Education my butt! i think the general public needs to get involved…next time u see someone throw something out their car window, use ur car to cut them off then get out of ur car and beat he living crap out of them…that’s education! the 20JD fine is going to be treated the same way as the 25JD fine for talking of the mobile while driving…people are still doing it…it was not a real deterent. but i bet if u grab that slow, careless driver in front of u out of their car and smash their phone, well, then they would think twice about using their phone in the car next time.

  • Fad, I think I’ve done something like those things to people before. 😀

    Dave, I agree with your post and understand your frustration. But believe me, people were like this way before the GAM had street workers cleaning up the streets. just take a visit to some of the other cities and towns.

  • Amen…

    I really hope this initiative goes into immediate action, and I hope that the fines grow exponentially to make sure that the lessons are learned. A fine and penalty of US$4000 for carrying chewing gum in singapore (let alone littering) is no different from that of the possession of a kilo of heroine. Why this much? because it actually takes 0.17 man hours at a cost of labor that is US$6-9 per hour of labor to clean and remove one chewing gum off the street or sidewalk.

    I go scuba diving and snorkling in Aqaba regularly, in one of the 20 marine reserves, and the littering is worse underwater than is visible from when looking at the crystal clear waters. Every weekend, people flood the public beaches of Aqaba (80% of which is a nature reserve) and fill the places that they have occupied with all kinds of litter. a can of pepsi that you have mentioned earlier, will take no less than 3000 years to completely disintigrate, let alone glass and other plastic materials that might not be broken down by nature.

    So I hail to the initiative, and I salute the enviro-cops, and I would do all that is within my power to help them. I’m not sure if education will do the job, but heavy penalties, in my view, will.

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