In the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, the garbage collectors, skip drivers and “ripeurs”, are hard at work and crisscross the streets of Paris to collect more than 1,500 tonnes of waste.
Municipal or private sector employees, the majority have given up their right of withdrawal in order to keep the capital clean.
To protect its agents, the city of Paris has strengthened its security protocols. After each round, the cabin of the garbage truck is disinfected. It was also recommended that the driver be alone in the cabin to avoid contact.
Masked or not, the garbage collectors are exposed to the Covid-19. "The risks are simply a handkerchief or cardboard," says Said, a garbage collector at Veolia, who calls on Parisians to do everything to avoid throwing waste on the public highway. "We are afraid in our stomachs, but we do this because the city has to stay clean."
With the confinement, the closing of restaurants and the absence of tourists, the volume of garbage produced every day has greatly decreased. But the garbage collectors remain on the front line against the coronavirus.