Paris Facing Growing Garbage Crisis as Sanitation Workers Strike Against Pension Reform

Paris is facing a growing crisis as its sanitation workers continue to strike against President Emmanuel Macron's controversial pension reform bill.[0] Over 10,000 tons of garbage has accumulated in the capital since the 6th of March, when municipal teams began the strike, and the City Hall has stated that this amount is expected to increase over the next five days.

The pension reform bill would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, and the workers have been protesting since last week. In addition to the overflowing bins in the city, three waste treatment sites have been blockaded and a fourth partially closed.[1]

“The strike triggers a change in rat behaviour,” said Romain Lasseur, a specialist in the field, to Le Parisien newspaper.[0] Refuse collectors and the general population face a worrying health risk due to the fact that they will go through bins, reproduce in them, and leave their urine and droppings.[1]

The CGT union has announced that garbage collectors and truck drivers oppose the proposed change in retirement age from 57 to 59, and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has said that the claim of the garbage collectors is “fair”.[2]

In addition to the Paris garbage collectors, the personnel at the three waste incinerators in the Paris suburbs are also on strike, blocking the incinerators.[3] The strike is expected to last until Monday, 20 March.[4] As the piles of uncollected garbage grow, so does the anger of the Parisians.[5]

0. “Watch: Tons Of Garbage Pile Up In Paris As Pension Strike Continues, Rat Invasion Feared”, 16 Mar. 2023,

1. “French bin strike: Paris holds its nose as waste piles up” BBC, 14 Mar. 2023,

2. “City of blight: Paris visitors alarmed at trash strike” Bangkok Post, 14 Mar. 2023,

3. “Paris police assault garbage workers striking against Macron's cuts” WSWS, 18 Mar. 2023,

4. “Paris is stinking” The Spectator, 15 Mar. 2023,

5. “Paris holds its nose as rubbish piles up thanks to strikes” The Independent, 15 Mar. 2023,

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