Thursday, January 10, 2008

Burning Paris trash...


I'm sure you won't be as enthusiastic about this photo as you were about yesterday's one, but Paris is not all about museums! It's also a city that produces trash (each Parisian produces 1,4 kg - 3 pounds - of trash everyday on average). What do we do with this trash? We burn it in one of the above factories, located right outside the the city limits. Needless to say that people in the suburbs do not really appreciate to host this factory!

44 comments:

  1. Oh yes i am! It's stunning. Look at the way the wind is blowing both the clouds and the smoke and the colours, the colours.,.....

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  2. You were lucky with this shot too Eric because the clouds really cause an interesting effect along with the smoke. Lynn's got a point.

    It's not poetic as yesterday's photo but I guess it's the same in most big cities, the suburbs get to do the dirty job.

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  3. I just remembered the title of that film "Paris is burning".

    I love the story of the german general that decided not to bomb the city because he realized how beautiful and important the city was, so he could not carry on with you know who crazy idea.

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  4. What a beautiful picture. I wonder how common it is in the US to burn trash. I think we mostly dump all of our garbage in land fills. But if you don't have vast amounts of space then I suppose you must do something else with it.

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  5. Wow, that is some picture Eric. I hate to admit that it is a good picture in terms of capture and effect, while at the same time thinking what a bad 'picture' that is, of how things go in the world.

    And yesterday's was, indeed, magnificent!

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  6. I agree with "me," it's both a good picture and bad. Good in the sense that it's a gorgeous display of contrasting light and shadows, bad in the sense that we have to breathe in that mess.

    C'est la vie.

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  7. Hi Eric, and all the best for the New Year...

    It was indeed a pleasure for my wife and I to meet you last year in San Francisco, and we hope to have the pleasure sometime again.

    Regarding the photo of the trash incineration, we couldn't help but wonder if the city has considered the possibility of generating energy from the trash, as does several cities, including S.F.

    Regardless, it's just a thought, coming from an engineer.

    We look forward to each and every photo you post, and again, all our best.



    Jim & Eileen Fraser

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  8. What a great photo . I see that Naples is having a shocking time at the moment with trash left in the streets as land fill is limited.
    I wonder if they will do as Paris does??

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  9. So that's why they banned smoking inside. There's plenty of smoke to go around outside.

    Does anyone notice a lack of rationality here?

    Now if Parisians could simply scrub the dark grey color out of their lungs the way they do off stone bridges, buildings, and monuments.

    Actually, I wonder how much of that "smoke" is condensation and how much particulate matter.

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  10. How similar to the image in the posters for Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth.

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  11. There's a trash buildup in Naples? They should dump it in the crater of Vesuvius. It's only a matter of time before the trash would get plenty incinerated.

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  12. Hello Eric-all trash being equal-my French Prof. Dr. Bruno Chomel with UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine tells me that France is the place I need to visit for best wine drinking when I retire....do you think he is is "telling it strait"?? or is Italia the place for a very American retiree' to visit for first Europeon wine tasting experience? I'll wait for your response to book my ticket...Very truly yours...
    Barbara from West Sacramento Photo of the Day...

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  13. I read this http://www.env-health.org/a/2670 recently. Plus ca change?

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  14. If I didn't know the truth, I'd fantasize that the clouds were manufactured in the smokestacks. It's a fanciful photo, quite beautiful.

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  15. I love Petrea Burchard's comment and imagination. That's something we could tell a child to keep their lives innocent. "It's a cloud manufacturing plant honey". lol

    It is a wonderful photo and I do like it when you mix a bit of Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe with smokestacks and, dare I say, this famous shot of yours. It gives us the total view of Paris.

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  16. Some good news I just heard was that starting June 1st, China is banning the use of plastic bags, the kind you get at supermarkets! People can still buy them, but they are banning their use from all public transportation, including buses, trains and planes and from airports and scenic locations. Not bad considering that the Chinese use up to 3 billion plastic shopping bags a day!

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  17. On the contrary, I much prefer this pic to the Musée d'Orsay one, it's much purer, compositionally speaking, of course. You caught great lighting there, indeed.

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  18. If you see the usual wind directions and the positions of these factories, you'll see that trash smokes go to Paris ;)

    The energy produced by the trash is used for the urban heating, but a lot of fuel is necessary during the combustion :/

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  19. Hi Eric,
    I am happy to see that our last discussion may have given you a little inspiration (suburbs ...) ;)
    And it is, as usual, a very good choice and interesting photo.

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  20. Michael, I agree. I love the beauty of Paris, but the ugly side adds intrigue. It's a city of many parts.

    The mix of pomp (or poop) and splendor are what make a city worth exploring.

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  21. This is something we must credit Eric for. He shows us the "real Paris".
    Good work, Eric.

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  22. Burning our trash is probably the best way to get rid of it, and one must know that this industry is one of the most controlled in France. Regulation about its effluent limits is tighter every year.
    A very interesting website is www.incineration.org (sorry, in French only, but graphs and numbers can be understood), where you can find everything about this industry and its technologies, and also details (including details of the composition of the smoke, which is nearly 100% water vapour) about most of the 120-125 sites existing in France.

    To answer Jim and Eileen's question : yes, these companies generate energy (electricity) and sell it to EDF (Electricité de France).

    I'm sorry but I think Pinky is wrong : these plants need fuel, or gas, ONLY to start the fire. Once it is burning, it is "auto-fed" (sorry for my English) with the trash added permanently.

    And a last point, about the colour of the smoke : it looks dark on the picture, due to the angle and the light. But in fact it is white (it is water vapour!). And it's much, much less dangerous for us, Parisians, than what we breathe in our daily traffic jams ;-)

    However, I agree with most of you, this picture is showing a much less poetic Paris than the previous one !

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  23. Mon Dieu Michael...Le "turd-on" encore??? LOL!!!

    We tend to forget that every great city has smokestacks somewhere close by...and if we ever even notice them depends on how we enter or exit the city.

    I guess this would be called a "reality shot"...but quite interesting actually.

    Chinese love those "pink" plastic bags in SF too...but they will be "outlawed" here soon as well. It's kind of a step back, poor little old ladies with their paper bags breaking in the rain! Not good!

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  24. Always an interesting take on Paris. This takes me back to a Pink Floyd album.

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  25. Je trouve cette photo très belle. :)

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  26. Naughty Michael! I thought it was going to be the Eiffel Tower shot in the mist, but instead some brown yikes!

    Now when I see clouds in France I will wonder if it's a cloud or if it's trash???

    When I was in elementary school, it used to be a popular dis to say, "I don't keep trash, I burn it."

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  27. what do you mean Micheal by 'People can still buy them, but they are banning their use from all public transportation'... the bus driver will not let you in the bus if you have a pink plastic bag ...

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  28. But see, it makes for a gorgeous picture!!

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  29. Inge, as I read it, China will be banning the presence of plastic bags in certain areas, but, you can still buy them when you shop if you choose. The government also doesn't want the cost rolled into the price of goods purchased but as a separate payment. I'll ask next time I'm there to know more.

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  30. thx,good luck with your investigation ;-]

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  31. great photo!

    I add to what thib said above that we also use burning trash to heat some buildings in Paris and suburbs

    we have underground pipes where the steam travels, it is called Chauffage Urbain

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  32. Nice contrast between clouds (nature) and pollution (man made) in this photo. Probably one of the least glamorous shots you've taken, but I really like the composition and light contrast. What was the smell like? I suppose the internet is not ready for "scratch and sniff" yet, but I wouldn't want to smell this picture anyway.

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  33. You don't collect your own trash? How strange!
    I bet that people is the suburbs are very happy.

    Look what is happening in Italy...

    ;)

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  34. I appreciate how you show us the glorious, and the ugly, of your city.

    Mari-Nanci

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  35. I've been following your blog for a while now, and I think this is my favorite shot. A trash burning facility in my region always catches my eye when the smoke billows out in front of a cloudy background. I've even taken some shots of it, but nothing so spectacular as yours since there are power lines and parking lot lights in the way.

    The storm clouds in the upper right mirroring the curve of the smoke really makes your shot something special.

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  36. well it is odd that sometimes the most chilling scene has so much beauty, a lovely pic!

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