What’s a Paris stroll if you can’t daydream? Tourists to the French capital can now walk the city’s sidewalks without regard to what may lie underfoot.
“Paris is winning the pooper-scooper campaign,” announced the Mairie de Paris, or mayor's office, in a report by the AFP, thanks to success of the Campagne de Propreté 2009—a citywide cleanup campaign launched earlier this year.
Contrary to the government’s previous efforts which took the problem to the gutter (literally) or dispatched fleets of motocrottes (motorbikes with a waste aspirating unit)—the new strategy focuses on prevention and education, with public service signs posted around the city and 850 sanitation agents roving Arrondissements, doling out plastic bags and training tips.
Though masters can be harder to train than dogs, the campaign’s effectiveness shows up in the numbers: fines (up to 180 euro, or USD$250) have dropped from 4,849 to just under 2,000 since 2004, though the doggie-dense neighborhoods of 7th and 14th remain problem areas, subject to further “commando” actions.
Lisa Cheng is an assistant research editor at Travel + Leisure.