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Strikes in France: there are 10,000 tons of garbage on the streets of Paris and the smell is unbearable


In some neighborhoods the collection began. But the three incineration plants are blocked. From rats to foxes prowl the mountains of waste.

With two weeks of

a garbage collectors' strike

to reject the pension reform, Paris has been transformed into a gigantic garbage dump.

Green and yellow trash cans

overflow on the street

without being picked up.

Around him are plastic bags, boxes, abandoned furniture, which no one takes.

A cloud of doves and crows flies over it and pecks.

Rats roam day or night, without being scared.

Unhealthiness reigns.

The foxes visit the piles at dawn

. The smell is unbearable.


use them for combustion

in their protests to confront the police and turn the streets of Paris into burning pyres.

The Paris Police Prefecture has ordered weekend requisitions of garbage cans.

But the main problem is that

the three main

garbage incinerators on the Ille de France are blocked.

The trucks arrive and cannot unload.

The problem continues


There are at least

10,000 tons of garbage on the streets of Paris

, spread out in front of the doors of each building.

The garbage crews that are in action were requisitioned from a private company and it takes at least two hours to clean them per block.

The work is titanic and unpleasant.

Each truck can receive 5 tons of garbage.

Other buildings have joined forces to summon private companies to collect the garbage that covers their fronts and sidewalks.

Uncollected rubbish on a street in Paris.

Photo: AP

Harvesting has begun in the 16th and 11th districts of Paris.

A relief for the inhabitants of these neighborhoods that became "unusual".

The requisition seeks to accelerate this unhealthy state, when spring approaches Paris and temperatures begin to rise.

But in other neighborhoods

the dirt spreads

, as in the XII.

Large waste production

On the sidewalks of Paris and other large cities, the accumulation of garbage, linked to the strike of the garbage collectors, forces us to consider a reality:

the impressive amount of household waste that they produce daily


The deputy director of the circular economy and waste unit of the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), Raphaël Guastavi, analyzes

the relationship that the French have with their garbage cans

and the measures put in place to make them overflow less.

“The garbage collectors' strike has highlighted both the importance of household waste collection and

the astronomical volume of waste

emitted by households,” he explained.

The French in general produce 496 kilos of garbage per year and per inhabitant.

Photo: Reuters

The French in general produce

496 kilos of garbage per year and per inhabitant

, according to the Ecological Transition Agency (ADEME).

They admit that the Covid crisis and

the home delivery of food

have increased garbage. A third of the garbage is rotten. It is the most shocking and attracts rats.

"It's a shame to wait until there's a problem to realize it. In the eyes of most French people, dealing with their rubbish is almost

a magical process

. You fill up the bins, you take them out to the sidewalk once or twice a week, and

its content disappears

. Except when you find yourself on a street behind a collection truck, nobody cares what happens to them, even though this service is an absolute necessity, especially in terms of public health," explains Raphaël Guastavi .

the Covid crisis and the home delivery of food has increased garbage.

Photo: Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

“There is always a revulsion towards waste.

It's dirty, it doesn't smell good, it attracts rats.

And it is that the collection of our garbage is a service whose cost

is hardly seen in our rates


The household waste collection tax is just one small line among others.

For the inhabitants, the issue of waste has also often been perceived as a problem.

Take the instructions for selective collection - for a long time no one understood anything.

Today, 249 kg per inhabitant and year of household waste

is thrown away in bulk without sorting

, while

80% could be recycled

”, she clarifies.

At the end of the 80s a real waste industry was created.

Landfills have become classified facilities, with the obligation to have physical barriers to

prevent leakage into groundwater


Incineration plants have had to comply with drastic guidelines in terms of discharge into the atmosphere.

And now

they produce heat and power

, which they didn't do in the 1980s.

Paris, correspondent


look also

In photos: the streets of Paris accumulate tons of garbage due to the strike against Macron's reforms

look also

Emmanuel Macron risks his government: faces a motion of no confidence amid strong protests in France

France: what does Macron's pension reform approved without a vote of Parliament say?

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-03-20

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