In the ongoing political battle of wills on the subject of green waste, the CLARO political group announced that the residents of the Orihuela Costa are being fined by the local police for “putting out garden waste for collection in places and on days which do not conform to the schedule of the supposed twice weekly regular collection service”.

The statement from the group read, “In a policy move which will cause deep resentment in Orihuela Costa, the Mayor of Orihuela has mobilised the local police to impose fines of up to €3000 on residents”, continuing to state that, “It is understood that already a dozen fines have been levied”.

Whereas one could easily argue that there is a problem of garden waste being dumped, and if this action is correct then the police have a right and a duty to enforce the laws of the municipality, thus solving the problem in a legal and official way, as, according to the statement, “we have not had a properly organised service for years, if ever”, thus also taking responsibility for the time CLARO councillor Bob Houliston was in a position of power, as well as his current allies, the Partido Popular. But despite all of this, questions still remain as to the accuracy of the accusations.

Prior to this press release, a letter from a concerned resident was also sent to us and other English language newspapers, and so, the matter was raised by The Leader with the town hall.

The Councillor for the Coast, Martina Schreurer, contacted the chief of the local police and then reported that “I have seen the police paperwork”, continuing, “NOBODY has been denounced for putting out a little bag, all volumes where more than the 1.000 litres”, thus disputing the claims that it is residents who have been targeted by the police at this time.

Schreurer continued, “NOBODY has been denounced for putting out a small volume on the wrong day either”, again challenging the accusations from CLARO. “Most of them are garden companies. Some are private citizens, but they have an address which does not correspond with the place where they got caught depositing green waste”, again though, reaffirming that the amount being dumped was of significant size, and not a typical amount of clippings that a private garden would produce. Commercial gardeners may too live on the orihuela costa of course.

The chief of police also said that they do not fine anybody for fly-tipping as is the subject of this issue, but they compile the reports which are handed to the government department who then follow the protocol for the issuing of sanctions as appropriate.

In the meantime, although there is a distinct possibility that anybody could be fined in the future, it has, according to the police, not been the case so far. There are ways of both reducing this risk and keeping the streets clean, as we have said on numerous occasions before, by contacting the town hall to clarify the day and time for garden waste to be put out for collection, taking responsibility for the problem and reducing the political football that seems to do nothing to resolve the matter.

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