Lyon

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Lyon is the second biggest city of France. It offers a variety of freegan possibilities.

Dumpster diving

Bakery and supermarket dumpsters in Lyon are hard to find mostly because they are located in the courtyards of the buildings. And even if you find them, most likely they throw away the food early in the morning before the trash trucks come to empty the dumpsters. You can check your luck during the day by going into courtyards. You can do this by pressing the odd button on the interfone of the building, the button without any person's name next to it. If a building has this, it will open the door between 4am and 10am or something similar. Some supermarkets have the dumpsters outside but not many.

The trick to good dumpster diving in Lyon is to go early in the morning, between the time when the dumpsters are put outside on the sidewalk and the time the trash trucks come. This can vary greatly depending on the street and neighbourhood. So far there is no way of knowing these times except from experience. Trash days differ from district to district, or from town to town. Mondays seem to be the best. Between 5am and 8am are the times to go. Many times the supermarket trash is mixed with normal trash so don't give up if you find a bag of household waste. (Update from Sept.2011: For the 3rd arrondisement, here is some interesting/useful information found on the official Lyon website: number of trucks: 10 trucks, 10 drivers, 20 loaders and 18 other workers. Timetable: 6am to 1pm, depending on the street in question.)

To check the trash days of your area within Grand Lyon, visit this page. Click on the name of the district/town and scroll down to the bottom, see it under "Calendrier de la collecte des déchets - Collecte des ordures ménagères".

Good spots

One evening catch from a Spar in Villeurbanne and a Lidl in Bron.
One evening catch from a Spar in Villeurbanne and a Lidl in Bron, Lyon.

Below are some good spots, times are approximate... can be earlier or later depending on a day.

Supermarkets

  • District 1 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
    • 7.30am - Monoprix, Rue de la Republique. There are 2 Monoprix shops here. One has 2 floors and one is only one floor at the bottom of a building.
      • Big Monoprix - there are many many poor people dumpstering at this spot. It's worth leaving them have everything unless you are really desperate. (Last checked: Oct.2011)
      • Small Monoprix - here there is a lot of trash and not so many people go. The reason is that the shop workers are very much against dumpster divers and take the dumpster back inside the shop if they see anyone looking through it. Best option is to scout the place and go to the dumpster when there is no worker around anywhere even inside the supermarket where they can see you. Be very very quick. Go to the dumpster, take the bag full of food out and go away very fast to somewhere where you cannot be seen. Take what you need and if there are things you want to throw away throw them in a different dumpster. This way you avoid confrontation with the staff. (Last checked: Oct.2011)
  • District 2 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
  • District 3 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
    • 6am - U Marche on the corner of Route de Genas and Rue Camille. The dumpsters are on Route de Genas in front of the industrial entrance. Trash truck staff are known to take the useful trash for themselves while they empty the dumpsters, so it is a good idea to be before them (which is good in any case, otherwise you will find all empty). The dumpsters are the big ones on four wheels. (Last checked: May 2011)
    • 7-7:30am - Provi Fruits in the intersection of Route de Genas and Rue Frederic Mistral. The dumpsters are outside on the street, with the name of the shop written with permanent marker on the lid. Sometimes these two dumpsters arrive in different times. If you find one, it might make sense to wait for the second one. (Last checked: July 2011)
    • 7-8am - Fran Prix on the corner of Cour Albert Thomas and Rue de Villon. The dumpsters are not in front of the shop but more towards Cour Albert Thomas, at the enterance to the parking. The shop's dumpsters are the small ones, the big ones are only interesting if the goods can not fit in the shop's dumpsters. Once the FP worker was seen pushing out five shopping carts of food, dumping it in the big dumpster. There are regular divers going to this spot. (Last checked: July 2011)
  • District 4 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
  • District 5 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
    • 10:00pm - Boulangerie Paul at 72 Avenue DU POINT DU JOUR: some nights in the week they trash tones of different kinds of breads (including sometimes organic ones), sandwiches and pasteries, in big black plastic bags they leave on the street, near the door step. (Last checked: Aug.2012)
  • District 6 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings.
    • 6-6.30am - Simply, 46 Rue Garibaldi (many old people dive here every time, they might share what they don't want but there's a lot of competition). (Last checked: Sept.2011)
    • 6:30-6:50am - Spar, on the corner of Av. Thiers and Rue Gabriel Peri. The dumpster is on the other side of the street, near the flower shop. The dumpster is out only for a short time before the truck comes, all in all maybe 20 min. Still if you are on time, you will have enough time to check through it. (Last checked: July 2011)
    • 6.30-7:30am -Petit Casino, 56 Cours Franklin Roosevelt, although dumpsters don't seem to be put out on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The Petit Casino dumpster can be accessed by going into the courtyard of the building, it's in there if it's not out yet. To go inside the building just press the door-open button which is a button that is somehow not related to the others on the interfon. This button works only at certain times during the day like during trash collection time. (Last checked: Sept.2011)
    • 6:40-7am - Petit Casino on Rue Professeur Weill, very close to Cours Vitton. This one also stays out for short time, but schedule often changes. The dumpsters are at the enterance on Rue Professeur Weill, or on the corner of this street and Rue de Seze, or sometimes on the other side of the supermarket, in front of the main enterance. The name of the supermarket is written with permanent marker on the lid. (Last checked: July 2011)
    • 7am - Petit Casino, 36 Rue Juliette Récamier, although the dumpster doesn't seem to be put out on Tuesdays or Thursdays. (Last checked: Sept.2011)
    • 7-7:30am - Fran Prix, on the corner of Rue Tete d'Or and Cours Vitton. Dumpsters are on Rue Tete d'Or, in front of the industrial enterance. There is a small one and a medium one usually. If they are full, look into the others too. Don't mind the staff, they are really used to divers. (Last checked: July 2011)
    • 7-7:30am - Super U, on the corner of Rue Garibaldi and Rue Cuvier. The dumpsters are in front of the industrial enterance on Rue Cuvier. There is one man there who will give you bad words, and send you away, but he doesn't do anything else - and you can take with yourself the goods you already got out. But better be quick, and start only when he is not there. The guy is strange looking, out of the gym with tattoos, and bakelit glasses. Don't be afraid, he doesn't care, just does the job. There is lots of stuff in their dumpster, get quickly what you find on the top. There is also lot of bread, he usually gives some of that. (Last checked: July 2011)
    • 7.30am - Franprix, 106 Rue de Crequi, but the dumpster doesn't seem to be put out on Tuesdays or Thursdays. (Last checked: Sept.2011)
    • 7.30am - La Vie Claire, 125 Rue Vendome, but the dumpster doesn't seem to be put out on Tuesdays or Thursdays. (Last checked: Sept.2011)
    • 8-8:30am - L'Eau Vive, 56 Cours Franklin Roosevelt, the dumpsters have Pubelle Cour written on the lid with permanent marker. If the dumpsters are not out yet, you can go inside the gate when a car comes out. The door closes slowly, you have time to wait for it to go away. When you go in cover the sensor of the gate with something, otherwise it will close you in and you will have to wait for someone to let you out. Don't check the dumpster inside the yard! If there is something in them, you can pull them out on the street, there is no problem with that. The residents will really not like if you check the trash inside the yard. (Last checked: July 2011)
  • District 7 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings.
  • District 8 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
  • District 9 - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
  • Villeurbanne - Trash is taken on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings.
Washing dumpstered fruits in a squat in Villeurbanne.
Washing dumpstered fruits in a squat in Villeurbanne.
    • Evening spots
      • 19:45 - L'Eau Vive, Rue Jean Bourgey, on the side of the shop, with a sticker of the shop. Out on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and very rarely Saturday. (Last checked: June 2011)
      • 20:15 - Spar, on the corner of Cours Tolstoi and Rue Racine. The dumpster is near the bus stop. Usually there is a group of drunkards already waiting for it. Sometimes they are a bit aggressive. Better take a look around before, or keep an eye on them while you are dealing with the goods. Out on Tuesday, Thursday, maybe Friday, and Sunday noon. (Last checked: June 2011)
      • 23:00-00:15 - Pizza Hut, on the corner of Cours Emile Zola and Rue Raoul Durand. Often there are fresh pizzas in boxes. Usually on the top of the bags, or in between, and not inside them (again - usually). Also happened that they were intentionally thrown to the bottom, smashed, but still clean. (Last checked: June 2011)
      • 22:00 aprx - Trattoria Italiana on Emile Zola, just near the Gratte Ciel metro. Really dirty inside the bags, mixed with food leftover - bring gloves. Often there is quality Italian cheese, spaghetti, or fresh pasta in package, mostly hidden beneath the sticky leftovers. Once you start it, be patient to check the whole bag. (Last checked: Oct.2011)
  • Bron - Trash is taken on different days for the two sectors. Sector 1 on Tuesday and Saturday, Sector 2 on Monday and Friday.
    • Evening spots
      • 21:00 (around)La Vie Claire on the corner of Route de Genas and Rue Georges Clemenceau. There is usually very small finds at this shop. If you are really close you can take a look on Tuesday and Thursday. The Lidl nearby used to be a good spot in the same evenings after 22:30, but they stopped leaving the garbage outside for the night. Maybe in the mornings it can be worth a try. (Last checked: Oct.2011)

Bakeries

  • 5am - 15 Place Louis Pradel (Last checked: Sept.2011)
  • 6.30am - intersection between Rue Tete D'Or & Rue Vitton (Last checked: Sept.2013)
  • 7.30am - intersection between Rue Cuvier & Rue Pierre Corneille (Last checked: Sept.2011)
  • 10:00pm - Boulangerie Paul at 72 Avenue Du Point du Jour: some nights in the week they trash tones of different kinds of breads (including sometimes organic ones), sandwiches and pasteries, in big black plastic bags they leave on the street, near the door step. (Last checked: Aug.2012)
  • 8:00-8:30pm - Boulangerie La Brioche Dorée It's in the Part Dieu mall. Simply the best spot I found in Lyon. When you enter the mall through the entrance facing the train station, there will be a Brioche Dorée on your right, by the escalators. They close around 8pm, and they have a LOT of stuff to throw away. Don't be rude, don't ask them at the shop, they don't like hobos, or anyone putting their hands on the food. Depending on where they take the food, you have two options:

One: go to the bottom floor with the escalator (where the metro is) and go through the white doors on your left. You arrive in an underground parking, where the trash is. The trolley with the food will arrive by the elevator. You just have to wait for them, and ask politely if you can take some food. If they have a bad day they'll say no, and throw it out. But no worries, usually it's in boxes, and you can get everything out without even soiling your hands. (usually this is where they go)

Two: just follow them to the trash nearby. Anyways, keep an eye on the bakery to see where they go.

Best option is keep an eye on the bakery and follow the cart because there are different places where they can throw away trash. Usually there are two or three other people waiting for these bags. On Sunday they are closed. (Last checked: Sept.2013)

Food markets

There are many food markets in the city and if you go there around 11h-13h (depending on the closing time), you will find a lot of good stuff. Lyon is surounded by a vegetable producing area so there is really fresh food there.

Two big markets are located in city center:

Marché du quai St Antoine

Marche du quai Saint Antoine on the bank of the Saone river. Everyday except Monday. Monday is clothes day only. Rest of the time it's fruit & veg. It closes around 2pm. On Sunday you might encounter a lot of competition, but there is still plenty of stuff. The trash-truck is quick to come so don't be late.

Marché de la Croix Rousse

Marche de la Croix-Rousse, to get there you will have to go on the hill of the Croix-Rousse, really nice view, lot of things to take.

Freeshop "Matosteque"

Freeshop-collective Matosteque is a self-managed space to get things for free (based on lending and giving). The aim is to gather tools and such, usualy used for individual purposes but which could also be used for the community:

  • You have got a driller and you use it rarely? Bring it, others will enjoy it!
  • You need a ladder, come around to check if the collective one fits you needs.

People at the freeshop want to get rid of the consumption logic, and of the "every man for himself". Their goal is to put in practice concrete solidarity and mutual aid in the Guillotiere neighborhood. Everything is for free for an equal access for everyone. Anyone can join the collective, as much/deep as he/she want/can.

Come every 2nd and 4th Sundays from 6pm to 8pm, take or bring gear/tools/other stuff and share a cup of coffee and access the internet, or just have a nice talk.

Freeshop is located in "La guillotiere" (7th district) at La Luttine, 91 rue Montesquieu.

Other interesting places to check out

  • Infoshop "La Luttine": Every saturday 2pm-6pm. Check it out :) (website)
  • "La Gryffe" library: 5 rue Sébastien Gryphe Lyon 7e. Open Monday to Saturday from 2pm to 7pm.


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