Paris invests in new cleaning equipment

16th of April 2018 Article by Christian Bouzols
Paris invests in new cleaning equipment

As part of Paris’ “cleaning enhancement plan” the city government has invested in 170 new road sweepers and vacuums. Christian Bouzols, ECJ's French correspondent, reports.

At the beginning of February the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, called a press conference in a local workshop to see the new machines that shall be cleaning the streets of the French capital starting next June. The operation was part of the city’s “cleaning enhancement plan”.

Most of the refuse collection vehicles (83 per cent) operating in Paris now work on natural gas and the efforts implemented on this modernisation programme shall be continued in 2018 with the allocation of a €32 million budget to the purchase of new machines, explained Hidalgo.

New vehicles

The plan is to deploy 170 new road sweepers and vacuum cleaners, including 25 hybrid or electric models, across all the capital’s arrondissements (districts). During the press conference journalists were shown four of these new vehicles, including two pavement washers - one being an electric version - and two street vacuum cleaners operating on petrol.

“These machines are cheaper to run, higher in performance, easier to handle, less polluting and less noisy,” explained Karim Meherhera, supervisor for street cleaning, happily. “We’ve engaged in new cleaning methods,” added Mao Péninou, assistant in charge of all issues relating to cleanliness and sanitation.

However beyond these efficient new road cleaning machines, there’s another matter to attend to. In December, on the shores of the Seine, a municipal employee in charge of cleaning filmed a refuse collector overflowing with rats, an incident that renewed the debate on the presence of these beasts in the capital.

The mayor of Paris insisted in reminding the city’s people that cleanliness was everybody’s responsibility. “Cleanliness depends on the involvement of all. For sure, you need the tools, but you also need civic behaviour and a commitment by the people of this city, particularly in respect of not leaving food anywhere,” she stressed.

Rat problem

In 2017 the municipality of Paris carried out more than 1,800 rat disinfestation operations. These measures were taken by closing public parks, laying baits in green spaces, installing wire meshes on sewer drains, and substituting metal containers for plastic bag lined waste bins. Last September, the city authorities dedicated €1.5 million to the fight against rats. However this hasn’t satisfied the opposition within the municipal council, who are deploring the current situation.

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