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Garbage in Paris

What is the current situation re: garbage strike in Paris? We have already cancelled our March trip to Paris due to the violent protests and garbage piles everywhere. We can rebook for the week after Easter, but it's not worth it if the garbage is still piling up? We will be staying in the 6th.

Posted by
3917 posts

I read it was picked up last week. We are also going the week after Easter.

Posted by
6932 posts

It's fine now. Not 100% clean everywhere but maybe 80%, and improving. 100% not worth the hassle of cancelling!

Posted by
35 posts

Been here since Friday. I see thousands of people eating, drinking and playing. Seen a police group by the Rodin nothing else. The marathon was ran Sunday and again thousands of fans. Metro is packed with people. Honestly I must say the garbage is gone. Anything else let me know.

Posted by
776 posts

We're there violent protests in March? The local papers didn't mention any.

Posted by
2749 posts

So here's a reason to stay in Rick's favorite area.

Garbage collection is private. Seriously we realized that while garbage was piling up in parts of Paris in the area we stayed (not far from Rue Cler) it was picked up every day. We were watching the news one night and determined that in some part of the city garbage collection is handled by commercial companies and they didn't go on strike.

As for the "violent" protests.... ummm... yeah never saw those either!

I was very glad I didn't cancel my March trip. Actual impact due to strikes protests etc.... minimal We had to take a cab once instead of a bus!

Posted by
1 posts

I was there last week with the tour, we saw garbage in some areas (Latin Quarter) but not Montmartre, Eiffel Tower area, or Marais. It depends on whether the area has private pickup or not. Garbage was being picked up toward the end of our week. We saw no violent protests, and only had one day when the metro was on strike so we took the bus instead. Paris is enormous and lovely and I would go again tomorrow if won the lottery :-)

Posted by
99 posts

We are here now. I have not seen any garbage anywhere nor protests it’s been beautiful and we are having an amazing time!

Posted by
8109 posts

Union protestors have announced that they will begin the garbage strike again on April 13. I am pleased to be heading for one of the areas with private pickup. We will see how this all goes.

Posted by
380 posts

Just got back. We saw one part of one street (Bd de Clichy) that had piles of bags along one stretch, one side of the street. It was a nonissue. The strikes, too, were a nonissue. Go and enjoy Paris before tourist season starts up in earnest.

Posted by
2 posts

My wife and I just got back yesterday from a week in Paris. Like you, we debated cancelling, but after reviewing this site, calling the hotel (we stayed at the Hotel Muguet in the rue Cler area and it was great), and communicating with an American friend of our daughter's who lives and works near Paris, we decided to press on. And we're glad we did!

We saw some garbage, but not much. And, as has been indicated elsewhere in the TFs, in some areas it is being picked up.
We saw some instances where sites were closed for the day (e.g., the Eiffel Tower last Tuesday the 28th, but it was open the rest of the week). We also saw instances of slower and maybe slightly more erratic subways and trains. But we were able to do everything we wanted to do.
We saw one demonstration, at the Louvre when we arrived around 1030 for our 1100 tour. This one appeared to be electrical workers supporting some sort of picket line of maybe 20 people. The workers had blocked traffic in that circle in front of the pyramid. But at about 1055 they all cheered, high-fived or something like that, and left. All very good natured and French. It had a definite feel of this is how things are and "we'll pretend to protest and you'll pretend to listen."
We saw a lot of police presence, including a large number of vans near the National Assembly on Saturday. Big burly guys in full riot gear. But they seemed relaxed and as I walked by, one guy even closed the door of his van so I could walk past. I said "merci" and he nodded.
When we left out of CDG yesterday, ATC was slowing traffic, ostensibly due to the strike. But we eventually departed.

All in all, the media in the US is making a big deal out of this. But we honestly couldn't have told we were in the middle of labor unrest, demonstrations, and strife. Be patient, have fun, eat and drink, take your time, and have fun! We did!

Posted by
14 posts

We visited the second week of March when the trash workers were still on strike. And we did see huge piles of garbage even where we stayed (the 6th). Some establishments like our hotel paid privately for trash removal. In any case, the sight of trash piles never discouraged us nor apparently the thousands of other visitors there during our visit. I would not even consider cancelling a long planned Paris visit over the sight of trash.

Posted by
8 posts

A demonstration is scheduled today, April 6, to start at Invalides at 2:00 p.m.. There is a call to strike for garbage collectors April 13. We arrived March 30, only a few days after the last garbage strike and until today, have seen nor heard a trace of unrest.

Posted by
4170 posts

We were in Paris and other parts of France in 2019 during the "violent" yellow jacket protests. Saw some protesters, never saw violence.

Posted by
14 posts

Just got back from a week in Paris.

We saw garbage is SOME neighborhoods, but not all. And not in the neighborhood we stayed. It really wasn’t that bad.

Also, the only “strikes” “protests” we saw were on the news 😊 nothing in person. However, we were not out past 9pm

We had to take a cab once because of bus line down due to strikes but in a week long trip one bus issue would not have been worth cancelling the trip.

American media is 24hrs a day and there really isnt that much to talk about so they have to make a big deal out of something. I guess “garbage” in Paris is it.

Posted by
2749 posts

I spent a week in Paris in March. Before I went, there was all kinds of drama and fear on this board. That was the week that the transportation people are going to go on strike and it was a renewable strike so I go on it on and on and basically I was going to be there without transportation for a whole week. Yeah didn’t happen.

The closest we came to a demonstration was apparently one had ended up near the hotel de ville and we were going to Saint Chapelle and they were demonstrators walking back to various places. It was more like people leaving a sporting event party than anything I’ve seen in the United States. For example, no one seems to think it was necessary to take an AK 47 to the demonstration- that’s what we do here in Atlanta.

While I don’t speak French, the news showed no evidence of violence in any of these demonstrations. I think that we’re reading into the word demonstration what happens in the United States. And we’re assuming everybody is incapable of having peaceful demonstrations. That’s obviously not true.

The impact of the strike and demonstrations on our vacation was negligible We did take a cab because the bus was running late but I think that might be more because it was cold and wet and we were tired. If we had not wanted to spend 10 euros or whatever it was we could’ve waited on the bus.

So let me see I can go to Paris and have peaceful demonstration or I could stay in the states where we have daily gun violence, killing people. Oh let’s stay home it’ll be safe. I find it kind of hypocritical that we seem to act like a demonstrations in Paris are dangerous and other places have violence, but don’t face the fact that probably the most dangerous place you’re going to be is where you are now if you’re a US citizen. 😢.

Posted by
39 posts

I am planning to take my granddaughter ( 10 years old ) to Paris in October. Any suggestions about avoiding the riot areas ? - but hopefully the tensions will subside soon.

Posted by
14091 posts

"Any suggestions about avoiding the riot areas ?"

@cocoaguide: Seriously...there are no riots. There are protests, mostly peaceful that are a part of French culture. The protests are announced ahead of time with the route carefully laid out. They are monitored by police who do have protective "riot" gear but these are not riots. As Carol said above...after the protest march people were heading off in other directions and she felt like it was more like leaving a sporting event.

IF you are in Paris and see a line of police, you will turn around or you will cut down a side street. This is not really a danger to you.

There are sometimes some troublemakers at the end of the protest marches who are the ones who are up to no good but you will be long gone from an area by that time.

You and your grandchild will be perfectly safe in Paris. Stay in a central location. Learn to use the Metro to get around. Enjoy yourselves.

I'll also suggest you do not listen to any advice from friends or relatives who are not travelers. You don't really know "us" on the forum yet but let me tell you, you can feel comfortable with advice from those who have traveled recently as well as the contingent on the forum who live in France. We've a number of locals and they are very dependable with advice.

Posted by
32 posts

This site has a map of which arrondissements in Paris have municipal (striking) garbage collection and which have private (non-striking) collection.

https://www.reddit.com/r/paris/comments/121khvf/why_do_the_richer_arrondissements_5_6_8_9_14_16/

reddit

Why do the richer arrondissements (5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 16, 17) use municipal trash collection, while some poorer areas (18, 19, 13) use private subcontractors? I honestly would expect the reverse.

Posted by
6932 posts

Why do the richer arrondissements (5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 16, 17) use municipal trash collection, while some poorer areas (18, 19, 13) use private subcontractors? I honestly would expect the reverse.

I suspect a link to Parisian political considerations that are way beyond the scope of this forum (possibly linked to keeping the arrondissements that vote for the current city administration as happy as possible). Also, the private subcontractors are cheaper (about 15% or so I've read) than the municipal trash collection, so it makes sense to use them where the burden of trash collection will be highest.

Posted by
101 posts

I've been in Paris since Tuesday, staying first in Marais and now in the Latin Quarter, and I've seen no evidence of protests or garbage. We avoided the area of the protests on Thursday but that's about it.

The most trouble we've had the entire time was trying to get a metro on Wednesday night. We went into the station (Alma something, not too far from the Eiffel tower) and after 4 trains passed by that were completely full, not able to squeeze even one person on, we gave up and ended up taking a cab and an Uber back to where we were staying. No idea why that line was so packed at 11pm.

Oh and we had to walk to the second floor of Eiffel but that's a long story for another time.

Posted by
39 posts

Thank you for you updates about Paris! We will continue to make plans for our trip in the Fall.
C'le vie!

Posted by
1 posts

Thanks so very much for all the input. I'll be going to Paris in Mid May. Can someone update in a week or so on what it's like with the garbage since the collectors are back on strike yesterday April 13 ?

Posted by
150 posts

1) c'le vie means nothing in french, c'le is not even a word in french. Maybe you meant '' C'est la vie''. I can say that my french is much better than my english !

2) Be a good traveller is to be good to adapt for a situation. Some trash and some protest is part of life. Some people want to visit a place like they see it on postcards. A big city like Paris means real people living in it. In real life there's homeless people, intoxicated people, some tags, some trash, we have to adapt to it and avoid problems that can be avoided.

Posted by
14091 posts

Can someone update in a week or so on what it's like with the garbage since the collectors are back on strike yesterday April 13

Are they on strike or was it just the 1-day general strike yesterday?

I arrived today. All the Arrondissements the cab drove thru from Gare du Nord to my hotel were garbage free. I saw the garbage trucks going by when I was eating dinner. On the cross street there were cans out but they were typically what I’d think of as 1 day’s worth of garbage.

The court upheld the pension reform this afternoon so not sure what will happen now.

Posted by
2782 posts

I see no reason to cancel a trip because of no garbage pickup. There are plenty of areas you can visit in Paris.