You get this symbol now on all EEE goods

It’s shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, or as would be more likely in our case, after the chickens have got in and raided the pig food bin, but last week saw a competition between over 100 towns and cities in France to recycle the most electronic goods. I’ve only just found out about it, hence the rather late blog about it.

The tournoi was about DÉÉÉ. And what’s that? Déchets Équipements Électriques et Électroniques. Déchets means waste or scrap, and the Équipements Électriques et Électroniques bit means electric and electronic equipment i.e. anything that needs electricity to work, including light bulbs. So DÉÉÉ, usually written as DEEE, or D3E, refers to any such gizmos that we no longer want.

There are five categories of D3E items:

  1. Gros Électroménager Froid (GEMF): fridges and freezers

  2. Gros Électroménager Hors Froid (GEMHF): all other large household stuff apart from fridges and freezers i.e. dishwashers, washing machines, ovens, tumble driers etc

  3. Écrans et Moniteurs: TV and computer screens and monitors

  4. Petits Appareils en Mélange (PAM): practically everything else you can think of – radios, MP3s, drills, screwdrivers, food mixers, bread makers, irons, vacuum cleaners, printers, and so on.

  5. Lampes: lightbulbs of every sort.

None of these items should go into your dustbin. They must be recycled. And how do we do that? Well, if they still work, consider donating them to an association such as Emmaüs or Envie. If they’re broken or you can’t get to an asso, then take the item back to the shop you bought it from when you buy a new replacement one or give it to the delivery guys if you have it delivered. Lastly, you can take them to local dump where there’ll be an area for such goods or a DEEE collection point. Last week was when such collection points were made available. Bear it in mind for next year and check out the website at to keep an eye on when it will take place. Mairies sometimes organise collections of such items so it’s worth asking there about getting rid of D3E items.

To return to the competition. The winning town gets to host a D3E cirque (circus). This is a display of circus type acts involving discarded electric/electronic items. Here are a couple of photos from last year’s circus. Last year by the way was the first time the tournoi took place. It seems a good idea so now that I know about it, I’ll be looking out for it in future to support it.  I hope you will too!