Déchetterie or déchèterie?

One advantage of retirement is that you’re free to spend your time on stuff that most people might see as pointless. Which is why I’ve been deep-diving into déchetteries – or should that be déchèteries? You see different spellings depending on where you live.

Bordeaux goes for the double T version. The mairie at Saint-Aulaye agrees, but the outfit that takes care of the commune’s garbage, SMD3, prefers a single T, albeit without a grave over the second E.

My most up-to-date French dictionary – le Nouveau Petit Larousse, printed in 1943, doesn’t include the word, but defines déchet as something “perdu dans l’emploi d’une matière”. It gives as an example a piece of meat lost in wool – and who hasn’t gone through that horror?

Turns out the word was “invented” in 1987. The Academie française ruled that it should be spelt déchèterie. The European Union disagreed and went for déchetterie. Looks like you can take your pick. Well, that’s another day of retirement well spent.


If you cant say anything nice, dont say anything, so I won’t :joy:

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Here in 86, the local waste disposal company refers to 'déchetteries".

My OH and a good friend of his (french) will spend whole evenings on these sorts of critical debates……I like to follow principles of equality so would use each randomly according to mood.

Takes all sorts.

Ours is “la déchèterie” on the communaute website.

Ours is spelt déchèterie , but they probably pronounce it differently down here - déchèterie with as much emphasis as possible on the last syllable (I suspect to piss off Parisian owners of maisons secondaires)


No, the stress such as it is, is on the last syllable. People might possibly, in parts of the south, make rie into 2 syllables, ri-eu with a bit of a schwa on the last eu.

What really differentiates how it is said where you are and how Parisians might say it is more the emphasis on the E after the T and whether it adds a syllable or not.

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Frankly, I’m tempted to simply type “Dump” or “Tip”… as my fingers tangle themselves when using the correct French word (whichever way one spells it) :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: … but neither English word is really suitable to describe the excellently-run sites where our local rubbish/waste management is organized.


Our nearest is spelled a couple of different ways on the same sites:

Horaires de la Déchèterie de la Celle-en-morvan
Horaire déchetterie de la Celle-en-Morvan

Could it be to do with the different use of the word?

In the UK we still call it the tip or the dump but these days they are pretty much on a par with the French version in terms of facilities and separation of waste.
Izzy x

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So agree - which is why we always say the French word (however it’s spelt). Never occurs to us to say anything else these days.


This is so interesting and a constant source of learning for me. I imagine regional pronunciations and foreign influences mean it is constantly changing? Young persons are particularly swift in this.

One thing I notice that varies between Swiss-Belgian-France French, not to mention North African or Canadian, is which syllable to stress in “Bonjour!” That one little word can say so much.

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I hadn’t noticed this until Sue highlighted it by quoting.

Our local ‘waste disposal centre’ at Ardley appears very much like the facility at Celle-en-Morvan, with multiple containers for different waste types, recycling for electronics, engine oil, metals etc, plus disposal of hazardous materials like asbestos by prior arrangement. It’s been more-or-less like this for 30+ years. At times they’ve had areas where people could place still functioning but unwanted kit for others to take away, although with modern liability culture that’s all had to go.

There is a larger facility in Autun, where it was recommended we take some waste heating oil because this smaller local dechet(t)erie can’t hanle that kind of material.

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A wonderful example of pronunciation last night. We were at a small concert of local singers, who interact with the audience. At one point in introducing the next number they said it had also been covered by ….pause…couldn’t remember name……pause…the person who wrote Major Tom.

We immediately said David Bowie. Blankness,

Someone else said Daavidd Boughie. Happy smile, yes that’s him!


Ha! Ha!
I’ve also heard it pronounced David Booie

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My daughter the engineer spent a while in Brazil and was delighted to go and see a film starring Bredgy Peachy :slightly_smiling_face:

Brad Pitt?

Hard to guess but I expect they had a big poster :sunglasses:

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My while in Brazil, I was always Sueeee. :grin:

No, the stress such as it is, is on the last syllable. People might possibly, in parts of the south, make rie into 2 syllables, ri-eu with a bit of a schwa on the last eu.

Thanks, for such an informative response,

By contrast my post was highly speculative as I’ve never actually heard my immediate neighbours mention the place, I suspect they don’t use it at all, but merely from time to time leave some horrible old piece of furniture next to the recycling bin. The binmen won’t take it and if it hasn’t been grabbed by some passerby (as recently happened with a whole staircase that we’d removed) after a couple of weeks I take it to the aforementioned place on their behalf.

Is there a French term for such a person - un dechetèreur de voisinage?

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Have you checked whether you have ‘monstres’ in your commune? Here it happens 3 times a year on set dates and the commune (not the waste body) comes and takes whatever you leave outside. Formally I think it is encombrents.

In some places like Paris, you just register on line and get a reference number you stick onthe object and it will be removed.

Many communes have systems, so as not to mess up their patch.

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