When traveling one has to understand that you are in a different part of the world and things are done differently than in your own country. I am not judging but merely pointing out differences in environments and how things are done in separate parts of the world. I find it interesting to learn and discover the different methods people use to deal with all kinds of diverse situations.
Cleanliness in Ecuador isn't the highest priority, nor does it seem a priority at all. Rubbish along streets accumulating and people contributing to it is a problem that doesn't seem to have any attention. In Old Town Quito I have seen a few street workers picking up garbage but their efforts are minuscule when looking at the bigger picture. Heavy rains create dams of garbage which clog sewage drains and choke local streams, resulting in a foul odor that permeates into the air. This is something you tend to get use to and hardly notice after a while, or at least it doesn't seem as strong. Also with as many dirt roads that there are in Ecuador, polvo (dust) is everywhere.
I wish I could say the trash problem in the cities gradually gets better as you move more into a residential area but it doesn't. A high perched metal basket is common in from of houses in Ecuador. Upon my first arrival I didn't know what the purpose of these baskets were. I quickly realized the function for these baskets are to hold trash, perched high enough to be out of the reach of hungry dogs living on the streets. I personally have made the mistake of placing a small bag of trash outside the front door and forgot about it. The next morning the trash was ripped to shreds and tossed about all over the street. I picked up what I could and threw it away in the house.
Inside an Ecuadorian home it takes a little bit of getting use to and if you're a neat or clean freak you may find it a little difficult. "I'll get to it later," which turns into tomorrow and the next day. It will get done, it's just the matter of when. It is common for crumbs or fallen food to not be cleaned up after dinner or counter tops unkempt. I personally don't mind it too much. I'll wash the dishes after dinner and clean up but I don't stress that things aren't immaculate, plus who am I to judge? It's not a health issue problem, it's just that things get cleaned up at a slower pace. It's also common for people to hang their garbage outside on a fence. If a house does not have a metal basket out front to put trash in you will notice bags of garbage hanging from fences. Of course this method is also used so the dogs don't get into the garbage.
Trash and sanitation issues are an on going concern and actions are being conducted to better this matter, but it will take time to notice those efforts.