Parisians must clean up after themselves, insists the city's mayor

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Parisians must clean up after themselves, insists the city's mayor

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo says that residents must start cleaning up after themselves after the city was labelled the dirtiest in Europe.


The city was named the 'dirty man of Europe' in an article in British newspaper The Guardian, a label that has provoked quite the controversy in the French capital.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo says she wants to step up education on the issue to ensure that Parisians respect their local environment.


The city spends almost €600 million a year on cleaning, yet despite that visitors and locals alike often remark on the dirty streets, scattered rubbish and sometimes frankly overpowering smell of urine.

So is it really the fault of Parisians?

The city authorities certainly think so, and have launched a number of measures aimed at getting Paris residents to clean up.

As well as the hefty annual budget for the Paris Propréte street cleaning service, city hall also  funds 'incivility brigades' which can fine people €68 for anti social acts like throwing litter in the streets, failing to clean up after a dog or public urination.

The frequent torching of wheelie bins in Paris over the last year probably hasn't helped matters. Photo: AFP

Now the Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo wants is looking at introducing more education programmes to hammer home the importance of keeping the streets clean.

She told radio station France Info: "I am obviously not satisfied with the situation.

"It's an educational problem, and I think we have to start all over again. Respect education, respect for others, respect for the environment, respect for the place where you live."
The Paris mairie is already working with local schools on the issue and children have been heavily involved in the clean-up efforts.
There have also been initiatives run by local people such as the 'fill the bottle' challenge, which urges people to fill a bottle with discarded cigarette ends found on the street, and clean-up efforts in specific litter hotspots such as the Canal Saint-Martin.
And although many people turned out on Saturday to clean up the streets as part of World Cleanup Day, it might be just a drop in the ocean if their fellow Parisians continue chucking litter on the streets.


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