The strike by the employees of three factories disrupts the elimination of the 6,000 daily tons of litter from the capital and its crown.

In the control room of the Ivry-sur-Seine household waste incinerator, a dozen striking workers wearing safety helmets and fluorescent vests are talking, back to their frozen control screens. At the top of a gigantic pit with walls lined with cliffs of rubbish hangs a huge grapple, its empty steel fangs.

Since January 23, at the call of the CGT Energie-Mines, the ovens of the Energy Recovery Unit (UVE) of the Inter-municipal Household Waste Treatment Union (Syctom) – located astride the town of Val-de -Marne and 13 th  arrondissement of Paris – are down, as are the factories of Issy-les-Moulineaux (Hauts-de-Seine) and Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis).

Described as “historic” by the CGT, but largely concealed so far by the strike in transport, the coordinated action of these three sites, to obtain the withdrawal by the government of the pension reform project, could quickly sow a unpublished mess.

“Ecologically catastrophic”

These three factories usually handle 6,000 tonnes of household waste from Paris and the 84 other towns in Ile-de-France daily. And the “recovery” of the waste of the six million people they shelter makes it possible to supply more than 45% to the Parisian heating company (COCU) which distributes heating and hot water in 500,000 equivalent housing in Paris (ie 70 square meters occupied by three people) and sixteen municipalities in the inner suburb.

From the morning of January 24, the movement of its UVEs forced Syctom to redirect the noria of collection dump trucks to around fifteen transfer centers, public or private energy recovery units, and landfill centers often located several tens of kilometers away. An alternative whose Syctom estimates the additional cost at 700,000 euros per day, or 5 million euros for a week, and that the parties agree to describe as “ecologically catastrophic”, since 5,000 of the 6,000 tonnes of waste which are found buried daily are no longer valued. And that the COCU must have recourse to the purchase of fossil fuels.


Fearing the saturation of these substitute outlets which may result in the suspension of waste collection already largely disrupted, Syctom management has put the operators of the three incineration sites on notice to resume “normal operation” by a email dated January 28.