1 September 2020

Green is for garbage

In Paris, trash pickup is impressively coordinated and just another part of life en ville. It's also color coordinated: from the trucks, poubelles and an assortment of street-cleaning vehicles to the outfits worn by the workers and even broom bristles, everything is green. Trash is collected seven days a week, usually in the evening and often, annoyingly, at rush hour. For a city that's grève-prone Paris seems to have remarkably few trash strikes, and the familiar banging of bins being emptied into the jaws of whirring trucks is taken in stride. Even when a truck is blocking a street, stopping at almost every door, otherwise quick-to-honk Parisians stuck in their cars behind will patiently wait in deference. Most apartment buildings are equipped with separate receptacles for recycling bottles and plastic provided by La Ville de Paris, and depositories for discarded clothing can be found in every neighborhood. Trash pickup is so efficient that within an hour after the last cabbage has been cleared off the last stall, closing a street market, it's difficult to tell that a market had ever been there at all. - BPJ

Above: a green trash pickup truck lumbers down a narrow street near the Eiffel Tower

Below: masked brigade

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