Illustration of household waste awaiting sorting in a recycling center.



  • Last Saturday, the staff of the Tourcoing recycling center was attacked by users.

  • The aggression too much for Esterra employees who demand strong measures from their management under penalty of going on strike in the coming days

The employees of the waste reception centers in the Lille metropolitan area are angry.

On Saturday January 16, an assault on three employees of the Tourcoing waste reception center caused a great feeling of fed up.

“A lady came to ask the waste reception staff for help to carry a table.

But as things were not going fast enough for her liking, she called on her brothers to help.

The guys came in and hit the staff.

Three people were injured including a 61-year-old employee who had a tooth and a broken rib and was prescribed six days of ITT by forensic medicine, ”said a dismayed CFDT union representative.

200 to 300 physical or verbal attacks per year

Because these attacks in waste reception centers are quite recurrent.

According to the unions, 200 to 300 physical or verbal assaults occur every year in the Lille metropolitan area.

And the most recent was the straw that broke the camel's back.

On Wednesday, the representatives of the employees of Esterra, which manages the waste reception centers in the Lille metropolis, were received by the management to express their concerns and ask for more protection.

“The employees were accompanied by the occupational physician and psychological support was offered to them.

More broadly, since 2018, the company has led working groups on attacks in waste collection centers which have led to the implementation of concrete actions such as the establishment of conflict management training.

We are also working to set up awareness-raising actions to respect the rules of citizenship that our agents are entitled to expect, ”Esterra replied to

20 Minutes


The company also announces that it was in the process of filing a complaint.

A strike notice under consideration

Measures deemed insufficient by the unions.

“The discussion was fruitless.

We've been doing working groups for years.

It's no use.

Especially since the individuals who demolished the three employees returned quietly the next day to the recycling center, ”assures a union representative.

Worried, the employees asked the unions on Thursday to file a strike notice.

The situation could become tense next week if no way out is found to improve staff safety.


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  • Strike

  • Miscellaneous

  • Waste

  • Lille

  • Aggression

  • 20 minutes video