Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Oh la la.

Sure, it is home to the Eiffel Tower, amazing museums, chocolate crepe stands on every corner, and little dogs wearing sweaters. But you know the best part of Paris: the trash cans.

The mayor seems to have his political dial tuned to the environmental station. In addition to having a sweet bike system with 20,000 bikes at 1,450 stations throughout the city [with the first 30 minutes free (gratuit!)], Paris currently has an aggressive recycling campaign.

I quite liked the design of these bins in the Luxembourg Gardens. The green is for garbage; the yellow is for recycling (paper, metal, and plastic). Notice the lid on top of the yellow recycling bin: it both prevents the casual toss and also has pictures and arrows. You want to put that in here? You better think twice, monsieur.

In addition, people can see the contents of the bags through the translucent plastic bag. Pictures, arrows, and clear bags. Not rocket science, but effective given the small amount of contamination we saw in 20 containers, all paired with trash cans.

The garbage trucks currently have an ad campaign that reinforces the system that Yellow = Recycling. Here is a picture of one of the trucks.

Here is close-up of the sign on the truck. In the sign, the little paper box is saying, "In the yellow bin, thanks." Here is the website for the garbage in's and out's in Paris.

Ah bon.

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