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with waste, he creates a fantastic garden

HAS the Bierné recycling center (Mayenne), we collect, we sort, we recycle, like everywhere else. We also beautify the landscape. Promised to the dumpster, countless objects are “saved” each week by the manager, Jean-Claude Desneux, who rearranges them here and there, in order to decorate the alleys and medians of the site. Magical bric-a-brac where plastic animals, children’s tractors, rusty bicycles, toilet bowls, tires repainted in green mingle… Onlookers, sometimes even tourist coaches, visit this open-air museum, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary. “I wanted to do something beautiful”says the master of the place.

Former server of the only restaurant in the town, Jean-Claude, 64, has always had “recycling like dada”. He grew up in a nearby village, not far from a dump in the middle of which he was already “did[t] cabins ». This second child in a family of seven had only one game: to transform plastic bottles into little trains. The passion for recycling stayed with him. Located opposite the church of Bierné, his current house – called “the little house on the prairie” – is also a temple dedicated to decorative kitsch.

“I thought the waste would eventually subside over time. It only got worse”

It is moreover in his own garden that he took, in 2002, his very first piece – an old plow – to install it in his workplace. The utensil has not moved, enthroned in the middle of an accumulation of household appliances and polymerized tidbits. Two decades of frenetic consumption contemplate this naive art gallery. “I thought the waste would eventually subside over time. It only got worse”laments the Mayenne Postman Cheval.

Some 98 pedal vehicles (cars, trucks, tractors, etc.) occupy the medians of the Bierné waste disposal center in Mayenne.

Many are the marvels to be offered to the amused gaze of the users of the recycling centre. Thus this life-size resin equine, which was towed behind a vehicle in order to train the jockeys. Or this papier-mâché plane, which was attached to a wedding broom wagon. What about this windsurfing board, these two rattan armchairs that look like they came out of the movie? Emmanuelle, of this collection of pedal vehicles (98 in all)? No garden gnomes, on the other hand: “They’re stealing them from me”regrets Jean-Claude Desneux, who not only exhibits his finds, but also creates them from scratch, like these “trees with watering cans”, designed from tractor tedder rakes.

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