- Author : Paul Labrosse
- Master : 3109
WASTE, THE BIG LIES OF RECYCLING | M6 | Zone Interdite
France is collapsing under its garbage: more than 320 million tonnes are produced every year, including 40 by households alone. The official line promises ever-increasing recycling, but much of this garbage ends up where it should not… Some even lands up in nature without ever being included in official statistics and it’s polluting the environment! We investigated this garbage that we would prefer to forget. Starting by following our own garbage bags, at the risk of major disillusions: contents of recycling bins mixed with those for domestic waste, recyclables buried in landfill, abuse of regulations in waste sorting centres. In this sector, profit appears to take precedence over the environment. We also worked back up the trail of the real environmental criminals: those who dump building waste into natural surroundings (a fraudulent activity estimated at 80,000 tonnes per annum). Some of them even offer to substitute for garbage dumps through small ads sites. In this domain, they consider that money doesn’t stink: some land owners make tens of thousands of Euros per month by agreeing to accept tonnes of construction site waste. Even the waste from the biggest players in the French construction industry (BTP) ends up in the fields. The risk is that we end up losing trace of this rubbish. In this way, some people, unbeknown to them, have built their houses on giant trash cans. Today they are watching as their properties sink into the garbage. In the Val d’Oise department, which is particularly affected, courageous elected officials are themselves fighting against the polluters. They took us to places where pollution has become dramatic. Finally, we have brought to light a vast traffic in our most polluting garbage: fridges. To recycle them, you usually have to remove their highly-polluting refrigerant and their insulation foam. However, businesses collect them solely for their scrap metal, whose price is soaring, and then they sell them abroad, without cleaning them up, of course! To stop these traffickers, certain organisations use somewhat unorthodox methods and the hunt sometimes takes on the features of a cop movie. Garbage: an investigation into a not very clean business.