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ENVIRONMENT

New French website helps households recycle unwanted items

Online government service identifies how - and where - householders can recycle hundreds of domestic products quickly and safely

Racks of second-hand clothes at the famous Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris
Racks of second-hand clothes at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Photo: Eric Piermont / AFP

The French government has launched a website to help people recycle old, no-longer wanted items, extend their lifespan and protect the environment.

Most people living in France know that local Emmaus centres will take away old items of furniture, or that most supermarkets have recycling points for used batteries and lightbulbs.

But did you know that, for example, Norauto car parts centres will take old fire extinguishers? Or that you can take that broken TV to one of several well-known appliance stores, and they will ensure that it is properly recycled?

The website lesbonneshabitudes.gouv.fr offers advice on what to do with those hundreds of household items, from medicines to solar panels, furniture to old boats – and just about anything and everything in between that you no longer use or want – and where you can take them to be properly and safely dealt with.

On entering the site you will be asked to pick the type of item you want to dispose of, and then directed to a map of disposal points near you. You can also do a postcode search.

ALSO READ: IN DETAIL: The financial aid to buy greener vehicles in France

Some items may be repaired and sold on as part of a rapidly growing ‘circular economy’. Others will be taken apart and recycled safely.

According to figures from the Ministry of Ecological Transition, recycling has increased by 13 percent in the past 10 years. 

It is hoped the website will help people recycle more, said Vincent Coissard, deputy director at the ministry in charge of waste and the circular economy. 

“Citizens really want to do the right thing in sorting,” he said, “whether it is by extending the life of a product, or more simply by recycling, but they do not necessarily know where to take their products. 

“Where they have to deposit the product is not necessarily the same depending on whether they have batteries, whether they have packaging or whether they have electronic equipment.”

Member comments

  1. When I go onto the site to get rid of a good bed frame and a farmhouse table, the site directs me to the local déchèterie, I don’t want to scrap them, they are in very good condition I want to be able to give them to someone who needs them.

    Not very helpful at all.

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LIVING IN FRANCE

France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier

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