photo by Axel Bruns (Snurb on Flickr CC)

In a quaint return to yester-year, 60 towns in France have replaced some of their recycling and rubbish collection trucks with horse-drawn carts.

The ambient sound of clip-clopping hooves was surely part of the reason for this change, but the horses are more mobile in some narrow streets than the noisy and cumbersome trucks. Plus, they eat grass instead of fossil fuels and produce fertilizer for any gardener not to proud to scoop some off the street.

Though there have been failures and drawbacks to these schemes, but some have been successful. A similar idea with donkeys in Italy, has had clear economic advantages:

In Sicily, another place bringing back four-hoofed transport, Mario Cicero, mayor of 14th-century town Castelbuono, disagrees. He pioneered glass and cardboard collection using two packsaddle donkeys in 2007. Three years on, Cicero has done his sums and calculated a cost saving of 34%, as well as winning over a sceptical population and putting more donkeys to work.


If the animals are healthy and treated well, this could be a good idea, as long as it’s well regulated. New York’s cruel handsome cab industry makes me have reservations, however.

Read more on this story in the following Guardian article:

French towns swap rubbish trucks for horse-drawn carts