Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Your Trash is not My Treasure

Okay so enough already with waxing poetic about the lovely gardens and streets of Paris. Lately, things have deteriorated to the point of becoming semi-disgusting. The powers that be in the city have been arguing about whether or not to privatize trash collection and in response, the trash collectors and street sweepers have acted predictably by going on strike every couple of days. The situation is not helped by your average Parisian who, rather than drop his or her water bottle, newspaper, and empty food wrappers in the trash receptacle conveniently located on every corner, would rather throw these items in the gutter. Some of my neighbors open their mailboxes and throw the unwanted flyers directly on the ground in our courtyard. All I can say is "aarrgh."

At the moment, trash collection is messed up in 12 of the 20 arrondissements (districts) that make up the city of Paris. Collection has been privatized definitively in just two arrondissements with the decision to privatize the others apparently now tabled for future discussion and presumably future disruptions in service. Okay, so maybe things aren't as bad as they must be in Naples where the trash has been piling up for months. But please, can't we get this sorted out before hot weather hits and things really begin to stink?

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