This week's offering

Why are dustbins called poubelles in French? Round by us they are anything but belles. I know I’ve blogged about this recently, but forgive me if I vent my irritation at the lack of civic responsibility that some of our neighbours seem to show.

The photo above shows this week’s offering at our local dustbins – a used car wheel. What you don’t see, because they are out of shot, are the shards of glass from a shattered window pane that someone just threw on the ground between the bins.

What really annoys me beyond belief, though, is the fact that for two weeks running the special collection of recyclable rubbish has refused to empty the contents of the bin dedicated to that purpose. The sign below indicates that there is so much unacceptable stuff in that bin that they won’t take it away. This is the third time in six weeks that such a notice has been hung onto that bin. This week it was full of old plywood, builder’s rubbish and countless items that don’t belong there.


Do the people who abuse the bins care? No, clearly they don’t give a monkey’s. However, we all pay in the end. Our taxes foncières and taxe d’habitation increase inexorably every year, partly because people can’t be civic minded enough to put their rubbish into the correct bin or to take it to the local rubbish tip.

And don’t tell me that this is foreign gîte owners/renters doing this. We are way out of the holiday season. Selfish, inconsiderate people do this who think the world owes them a living and why should they bother to follow the rules?

Next week I am going to the Mairie and I’m going to ask them to remove the recycling bin from our immediate neighbourhood. It is simply abused and je n’en peux plus.

Copyright © 2011 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved


  1. They’re called poubelles, apparently, because they were invented by a Monsieur Poubelle. I have to say that in the Gironde we’ve always had a brilliant rubbish collection, here we get the household rubbish done once a week and the recycling, apart from glass, is collected every fortnight. The only problem we do have though is that if we leave the bins up on the main road for collection we risk having them nicked – it’s happened three times. Now who seriously wants a second hand bin from Leclerc that only cost six euros in the first place?


    • Thanks for the info about M. Poubelle. I’ll have to do some more research on him. Our collection here is pretty good – it’s the customers that let the side down, alas. You obviously have your own dustbins whereas here you take the stuff to communal bins – one for ordinary domestic rubbish and one for recycling items. It’s amazing what people will steal if it isn’t nailed down. I always find it sad to note that heavy municipal planters have to be secured with a padlock and chain – do people really carry those away?


  2. How frustrating. It requires so little effort to recycle properly, but as you say, some people just couldn’t care less. A good few of our gite visitors have a similar approach sadly, and I regularly have to go through our recycling bin to take out all the wrong stuff.
    I hope the Maire will be sympathetic.


    • I’ve been reduced to sorting out bottles and rubbish dumped at the side of the bins and disposing of them myself. Unfortunately, the recycling bin is so deep that I can’t get into it to remove the stuff and some of it is pretty disgusting anyway.


    • Whether they will take any notice of a batty middle-aged foreigner with a bee in her bonnet is another matter. But I’ll let you know how I get on.


    • Your locals must be better trained than ours. It seems to go in waves here but it doesn’t necessarily occur in the summer, which is why I don’t think one can lay the blame at the door of holidaymakers and second home-owners.

      P.S. Have read your post and left a comment. Well done for your small but significant triumph. Every little helps.


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