Friday 10 October 2008

A Load of Rubbish

One of the things that the French always complain about (supposedly) is that the British owners of second homes always fill up the rubbish bins at aires de repos with domestic rubbish. Indeed, even Susan and I have done this, but only once.

The reason is simple - if your poubelle* collection happens on a Thursday - as it does in Preuilly - and you're leaving on a Saturday, then what do you do with your black bags of gunk?. As a good citizen you can't put them out 5 days early, and even if they were open, the dechetterie (tip) wouldn't take them.

Preuilly has a solution.
Opposite the swimming pool there is a small hedged enclosure with a number of industrial sized wheelie bins. A notice on the bins states the are for owners of "maison secondaire" only. This allows us to empty our bins legally and easily.

After we have done this, it is time to get rid of glass containers. As in London, glass is not collected with the recycling (I assume it is a weight issue) and has to be put in the special containers, known as dechetteries (a term that appears to apply to any form of recycling - the yellow recycling bags are also referred to this way). These are found everywhere in France - Preuilly has at least 4 sets, and many roadside halts have them too.Once the poubelle/dechetterie situation has been taken care of, conscientious second home owners can then get on with the serious issue of travelling.


*Poubelle is one of those French words that once learnt, is never forgotten. Is is a so much better word than any of the English equivalents, and so is our default word for rubbish, garbage or trash.


Anonymous said...

Apparently these can serve as giant cat feeders too. My husband went to toss a bag into a roadside bin and out hopped a skinny cat!

Anonymous said...

This brings back good memories of this summer in Burgundy. We were going to the Dechetterie to get rid of our garbage (1st bin) bottles and glasses ( 2nd bin) papers and cartons ( 3rd bin) . They were enclosed by a small hedge also and we didn't find it right away.

Anonymous said...

But Monsieur...for all who has got a recidence secondaire, and has payed the taxes, there is two bins, one for the black sac and one for the green, down at the camping just outside the hedges and opposite the swimmingpool.
"The viking"

Simon said...

Hey there viking man, that's what I said :) long time no see

Beaver - yup - chasing bins. That was a regulkar feature of our first year visiting preuilly. No-one told us itw as there and we had to find it for ourselves

Carolyn: finding residents. At least it was a cat. It could have been worse.....

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon,
For more information about Eugène Poubelle check the following:

"w:Eugène Poubelle promulgated an ordinance in 1884 that all apartments should have trash cans."

see also [in French]:

Anonymous said...

Eehhh. How could I have missed that. With a photo of as well. Must have been the Barnache..on swedish apples.
"Not so vikingish"

Susan said...

Also welcome back to C-H :-) with a nice piece of trivia. It never occurred to me that Poubelle was a surname !

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