Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Street cleaning

Did anyone ever mention to you that Paris is a dirty city? After spending seven months in this city, I can absolutely assure you that this is true.  You walk around the city with your nose mostly pointed up to admire the beautiful monuments, the bow-windows,  the roofs and the facades... Everything looks so spectacular that sometimes you forget to look down towards your feet. In this city the probability of "messing up" your shoes is very high. Somewhere else, i.e. the rest of the civilized countries, people normally use trash cans, disposable bags for animal litter, ashtrays, etc. Here there is only one common garbage disposal: the curb. You can't really conceive the discrepancy between what is above and what is below the level of your eyes. 

But the French know that this is a huge problem, so instead of instructing and teaching their inhabitants (and visitors) to learn not to litter, what do they do? They implement the cleaning of the streets in such a way that every day, in all Paris, the curbs are fully washed twice. Additionally they adopted crews of sweepers and cleaning vans that carefully patrol all the streets. Hundreds of men and women, dressed in green, go around the city with brooms, pooper-scoopers, and all other tools and sweep about 2400 km (yes, everyday!!) of the city curbs. Needless to say,  the day after everything looks exactly the same, as in an endless cycle of poop and water. Let's hope these guys never go on strike!!!!

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