Le Figaro Nantes
We bring them in, we take them out; we bring them in, we take them out... It's unbearable!" repeats this Monday morning a resident of Rezé, in front of her yellow recycling bin that should have been collected last week. While garbage collection seems to have returned to normal in most of France, some residents of this Loire-Atlantique town located at the gates of Nantes are still experiencing difficulties. "No one knows when they will be picked up. There is no certainty that they will pass, "sighs next to her husband. For more than a month, between April and May, they had to pile up their waste, including baby diapers. Magpies and stray cats had a great time. At the end of May, after long weeks of watching for the slightest laughter and hoping, in vain, that the truck recovering the residues of the sidewalk opposite would also get rid of them, they were finally freed of their accumulated packaging. But they are not out of the woods. The collection still takes place randomly.
Oh look, a truck, they have to go to college, "says Anne, as a vehicle speeds past their house. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In the early afternoon, the yellow and blue bins still sat in front of the nearby school. "We can only be tolerant of a complex situation but we could have more precise information. We have a situation of mistakes. Where do garbage collectors stop? Do they turn around because the dumpsters are overflowing? Or because they're going on a break?" wonders the headmaster who lives a few meters away. He therefore suffers inconveniences both personally and professionally. "In middle school, the garbage cans stayed there all weekend. That's at least four yellow and blue bins. A gust of wind, a tray that overturns... This poses a problem for aesthetics and hygiene."
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Strikes, public holidays: an accumulation of problems
"You have a rather unprecedented situation that multiplies the difficulties. First, the national mobilization on pensions means that we did not have a collection for almost a month," explains Mahel Coppey, vice-president of Nantes Métropole in charge of waste. "Added to this is a change of provider [at the beginning of April] who himself had to face internal strikes," continues the elected official.
"Between April 1 and 11, we were faced with ten days of strike by staff transferred from Suez to Veolia. The organization of the work we proposed did not suit them. They mobilized and the social movement prolonged the disruptions of the service, "says Emmanuel Bodineau, director of the Pays de la Loire community service division at Veolia. When the rounds resumed on a regular basis, "we had to absorb all the delay in collection [in March in connection with the pension reform and the ten days of April] in addition to the waste presented regularly". Up to seven or eight additional crews were sent each day to catch up. "On the other hand, the month of May was marked by a number of significant public holidays," says the head of the waste recycling and recovery company.
However, he assures that the situation is normalizing: "We hope that the situation will stabilize definitively in June." The subject concerned ten communes of the South Loire. The situation is improving and it is starting to stabilize everywhere, "says Mahel Coppey of the metropolis, according to the feedback. In Rezé, near the Place François Mitterrand, the baker Kamran Karimli confirms it, relieved after a month of struggle: "Now it's better". A nearby business manager did not see any of his bins emptied last week but does not know if they were highlighted enough. At the beginning of the week, he deposited them much more visibly on the sidewalk. In any case, this fervent defender of the strike deplores the lack of communication on the dates of collection: "I called the town hall which referred me to the metropolis which refers me to the town hall".
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No refund of household waste collection tax
This does not mean that they will make us pay less the garbage tax, "laments another resident of Rezé, returned from vacation this Monday morning. With her husband, they immediately guessed that the garbage collectors had not passed by observing the alignment of yellow lids. A few weeks ago, octogenarians also experienced the accumulation of garbage and managed as best they could thanks to their compost. "My husband put bags in buried garbage cans and we were forced to burn a few boxes in the barbecue," says the woman.
"Even if I wanted to, I couldn't," says Mahel Coppey about the garbage collection tax. Legally, I do not have the right to refund a tax. This covers something other than collection, such as preventive actions, treatment, operation of waste disposal sites, etc."
In the meantime, the exasperation of local residents remains in place: some have already thought of symbolically dropping their bags in front of the town hall, even if the file is supervised by the metropolis. In this period of high heat, the representative of Veolia in Pays de la Loire specifies that the blue bins, dedicated to household waste, are collected primarily over the yellow ones. And on the eve of a new day of demonstration, Emmanuel Bodineau remains on his guard: "We are organizing to moderate the impacts of a possible mobilization. We do not know the level but we hope for a weak mobilization so as not to accentuate the disruptions in the service. "