It seems that neither doubling the penalties for the dumping of illegal waste nor an increase in police surveillance have had any effect on preventing the dumping of illegal green waste in the area, which continues to blot the landscape of Orihuela Costa.
As vegetation continues to fill many different streets of the Oriolan coast residents have reported up to 60 incidents in 12 different urbanisations, where garden waste continues to accumulate, even in parks and municipal gardens where trees have been cut and still remain many weeks after being felled.
A few months ago the Department of Street Cleaning in Orihuela supposedly began a campaign to end an image that has blotted the Orihuela Costa landscape for far too long, but the result has fallen far short of that desired, according to the Federation of Associations of Orihuela Costa (FAOC), which accuses the councillor responsible, Dámaso Aparicio, for having completely failed the coast. They say that he has “empezado la casa por el tejado”, which translates as building the roof before the house.
The FAOC has a complete dossier, thanks to the contributions of residents, with photographs of the different sites where there is an accumulation of pruning and vegetable remains which they say is giving a bad image of the municipality. The association describes as “zero” the actions undertaken by the councillor and criticises “municipal incompetence to provide an adequate service”.
Residents consider that both surveillance work and sanctions are necessary to overcome offenders who seem to be happy to dump their garden waste anywhere, but they add that the root of the problem cannot be solved by those measures alone.
FAOC spokesman, Tomás Moreno, says that the important thing is to establish an Eco park in the area. “While we are without such a park, gardening professionals will continue to have serious problems to get rid of their pruning. It is something that we have been requesting for 3 years, and it was in the electoral manifesto of the PP”.
In addition, the FAOC suggests increase the maximum volume of garden wasted that can be thrown away by a particular user (1 m3), as well as bringing in more pruning containers and increasing and publicising collection routes.