Friday, July 29, 2011

Thieving Rubbish

What do you like doing on a Sunday morning? Lying in? Having a late brunch? Getting up early and dashing off to do something sporty and healthy? I like lying in and I also like a nice little visit to the local dump. I have collected an awful lot of crap over the years and bit by bits 'n' bobs I'm chucking it out, gripped by the 'if I haven't used this for 10 years it must be rubbish' bug.

I suppose I could take it all and try to sell it at the flea market, but I loathe doing that, having people poring over my stuff looking at it with disdain or trying to steal it (very prevalent at our local big puce). It takes up a full Sunday morning that I'll never get back. No, rather send it off to be recycled even if it means I miss out on earning a tawdry €5 for it all.

Every day on my way to work I pass a dump (déchetterie, in French). It's not my dump because I do not live in the agglomeration - I take my rubbish elsewhere, not far away, but not on my way to work. So I just have an academic interest in the one I pass, especially as you need a card from the mairie to be able to use it (theoretically).Well, don't tell anyone but once I dumped an old bike outside the gates on a Sunday and within half an hour it had vanished...

Sturdy new fence
This déchetterie attracts a lot of attention. It closes between noon and 2pm but it's by no means left alone. Not long after it first opened, the fencing around it was damaged next to the main gate so that grotty white van man could sneak in and search for treasure. I'd go past and see chunks of metal being hurled around, or ominous noises of thumps and bangs, and the occasional head pop out of a container.

Then the fencing was repaired with some much sturdier protection. This did not go down well with the free-loaders, not one little bit.

Bent bars plus 2 new thick ones next to chain
Not long after, I went passed and I noticed that some of the gate bars had been prised back, as though superman had used his mega strength to escape from prison. Someone must have taken a piece of machinery to it because the gates are made of strong metal bars. Such determination and dedication! If only they could apply such traits to legitimate work.

I'm beginning to wonder what treasures can be found there that these people go to such trouble to break their way in. I must ask my own déchetterie guy next time I go.

This week the gates were repaired, the metal bars bent back into place plus two new thicker ones to replace the ones irrevocably vandalised, but there's no stopping these guys.

New hole in fence
Another panel of fencing has been removed and access is as free and easy as it was before. I should think the maintenance guys of the agglomeration are getting a wee bit fed up with all this wanton destruction and thieving, and we'll be seeing cctv cameras go up next to catch the ones taking the choicest scraps.

I suppose it goes on at all déchetteries - the one I go to normally has a beaten down bit of fence - but this one is on a busy main road so it attracts attention.

This month my mission is to really clear out the garage and put everything away in nice tidy boxes. I will be making many visits to the déchetterie, I'm sure although I'll never be able to get my car in the garage. It's such a small space really - too small to house an expensive car, but perfect for bikes and accumulated rubbish. No wonder some people give up and just turn it into another room. Where do they put their rubbish though?