For as far I can remember, French government and French people enjoyed placing themselves above the rest of the world as lesson givers. How do I know? Heck I was one of them. When I arrive in the States I found myself being one the lesson giver. OK I do have an excuse: after nearly a quarter of century living here I was brainwashed like the rest of the local population. Thank goodness I’ve changed for the better I hope.
Few days ago, someone ringed at the door while I was working on fixing the house to sell it and go back to the States. It was a lady that was bringing the new phone books for the year. I took them and quickly ask her if I could give her the old ones for recycling. She gave me an amazed look. I must have been the first one who asked such a question. I am not a recycling freak who keeps everything because it could be needed someday. If something is broken I trash it or attempt to recycling it. But paper is commodity that can easily be recycled, transformed and reused. Specifically in a world in need. The lady told me to place it in the recycling bags provided by the city. Unfortunately she didn’t seem to remember books are not allowed in those bags, maybe because it would be to heavy for the workers to carry. In France you are not allow to place trash bags that weight more than 22 pounds, the trash employee union does not allow it.
So I contacted the mayor office and asked him what to do with the old phone books. The question was quite important to me since I’m a book dealer here and when I buy an entire stock of books simply because few in it are of value, I would have like to know what to do with those who are not worth the paper they are printed on, and trust me there are many of them. If it is Harlequin, Selection of the Readers Digest I will not keep it. Sorry for you if you reading those.
The secretary at the office, kind of bored answered me there was no programs to recycle phone books nor any other books for that matter, that trash that was too heavy should be dispose of by myself because you would not want those poor working guys to go home tired. She also suggested to donate the books I did not have use for, then she asked me if my business was legitimate, if my taxes were paid. Of course, those good for nothing civil servants want to make sure their next paycheck will be paid.
Apparently the French green party is more interested in recycling money than recycling old books. They have been charged for it, but all their officials have remained in power and no one is in jail now. I think in another country it would be called “laundering” but in a banana republic what can you expect.
Of course I’ve tried to donate some books to organisations, old folks home, even to the “Secours Catholique” (something similar to Salvation Army but French version). No one wanted them. Old folks home management told me I could bring them up but I would have to put them away myself because it was not in their job description. I remained speechless. The worse is I paid high taxes because I live in a 3200 square feet home by myself (yeah I pay more because I live alone)(it’s socialist thing) to have a service and I don’t get it.
French elected officials are always talking about what citizens should or shouldn’t do to help the planet. They always said it is a citizen’s responsability to keep the place clean. They said we should save and yet, all those taxe monies are taken and nothing is done. Lesson giver, look in your own back yard before looking at the world, you are worthless.