December 13th 2017

Last week when we arrived at the French house we noticed that the neighbours rubbish collection service had been upgraded from yellow and black plastic sacs to wheely bins.

Upon enquiring at our neighbours we found that for us to have the same facility we would need to go and collect the bins in person from the depot/dechetterie. This is situated 12 miles away but as we had nothing else pressing to do today we set off to the depot which is situated in a forest about 4 miles from the nearest main road.

When we arrived I explained in faltering French to a very friendly lady what we had come for, she confirmed:

a. we had arrived at the correct place

b. we were entitled to the new bins

c. we couldn’t have them

After a a few minutes confusion we understood that you were only allowed to collect them between 1.30 – 5.30pm and as it was now only 11.15 we were too early, the bins were plainly visible 30metres away and my pleas that we’d driven 20km to get there fell on deaf ears, it’s the “regulations”. Well we all know about regulations don’t we, so we drove home and had lunch.

We returned at 2pm in case there was a rush, to find the office in darkness as the staff I’d spoken to finished at 12.30pm. Thankfully I found an even more helpful lady clad in yellow safety gear who thankfully spoke more English than I do French. She quickly completed the paper work and explained what we could put in the bins, basically the same as the black and yellow sacks. We then went the 30m to the bins and she was quite happy to man handle them into the car for us, but being a gentleman I couldn’t allow her to do all the work herself, especially as 2 bins wouldn’t fit in side by side. However with a little bit of cunning and removing the wheels from one bin so that it would fit inside the other, we had success.

We are now the proud owners of 2 French wheely bins, sadly as we are going back to England tomorrow we will have to wait until next March to try them out, c’est la vie!

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