A new system to make residents pay extra if they put out more than their annual quota of bin bags has been deferred.
Waste collection syndicate SMD3 is delaying introduction of the new redevance incitative payment system in the Dordogne from 2022 to 2023.
An opposition group claimed it is because of pressure from its members, but this has been dismissed by SMD3.
The syndicate said it needed more time to get legislation in place to make sure lower- income families are not penalised.
Residents’ payment for waste is included in the taxe foncière, but the new charge will be for an allowance of black bags each year, with additional costs for extra bags.
Central non-recyclable bins will be accessed by a magnetic card, which will “count” the number of times a household uses it. There will be a reduction in door-to-door collections but where they continue, there will be a system for counting bins. Florence Poumarede, founder of a collective of users dissatisfied with waste collection in Dordogne, said hundreds of its members were worried that prices would escalate, fly tipping would increase, and it would penalise people who could not reduce black bag usage because they were elderly and incontinent or had young children using nappies.
Read more: Dordogne: Do I need a special card to make a visit to the tip?
She added that the reduction in door-to-door visits by dustmen would make life difficult for some.
Ms Poumarede said: “We are determined to do everything we can to make sure this new system is never introduced.”
She said many members are English- speakers. One, recently widowed 72-year-old Vicki Swaine, lives alone near Le Buisson-de-Cadouin and is registered disabled. She said thrice-weekly visits to the bins because she uses incontinence pads were very difficult.
“I do not expect the French government to send a dustman to my door, but I also do not expect to be punished for being an old lady,” she said. “The new bins are almost impossible for me to use, and if we have to pay more for extra black bin bags, the cost will crucify me as I am on a low income.”
Ludovic Delecroix, a director at SMD3, said: “We are negotiating to change the law to introduce a social clause into waste bills so, like water and electricity, clients are not cut off from the service if they cannot pay.
“We are working with communes to assist those who cannot make the trip to central bins themselves. They are a minority – around 10 for every 2,000 inhabitants.”
He added that the new system is already proving its worth, with a 30-40% drop in black bin waste where central bins have replaced door-to-door collections.
Where new bins have been installed, tourists can access them by purchasing a magnetic card at tourist offices and bureaux de tabac.
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