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Councillor for the Environment in Orihuela, Manuel Gallud

The Councillor for the Environment in Orihuela, Manuel Gallud, has launched a citizen driven campaign this week to raise awareness of the importance we all have in keeping our local surroundings clean and tidy.

As part of the initiative, the councillor is looking for volunteers to help the Protección Civil and the Pasico a Pasico organisation who will embark on a major cleanup operation on the 31st of May.

For this campaign, three distinct locations are being targeted, the Caseta del Guarda in the Pinar de Bonanza area, the chapel of Pilar de Montepinar and the area around the Cruz de la Muela.

Everybody involved will be given protective work equipment whilst involved in the campaign, and a luncheon will be provided to the volunteers by way of thinking them for their efforts.

Although volunteers can just turn up at any of the three points on the day, which will start at 08:00, the councillor has asked that you register in advance, partly for logistical reasons, but also to make sure there is enough equipment and lunch to go round. This can be done via their Facebook page, “Medio Ambiente”, or by emailing medioambiente@orihuela.es.

According to the councillor during the presentation, the aim of the activity is to “educate the public about the importance of keeping the area clean”, and is developed through the voluntary activities.

Meanwhile, that education may come in the form of a bitter pill for one person caught dumping waste this week, as both the town hall and local police have praised one resident, Cath, who managed to snap a photograph of somebody dumping a large amount of waste on the Orihuela Costa from a Land Rover vehicle. The information was communicated to the town hall´s international coordinator, Heike Schug, who immediately started to take action, despite the matter being raised out of normal office hours, passing the information to all the relevant groups involved.

As such, the local police are now investigating the incident, with a clear image of the dumping taking place, and the number plate of the vehicle, with the owner of that particular van now facing a fine of around 700 euro upwards.

Although it is not known if that waste was commercial or not, the fact that it was such a large amount and it was clearly transported to the dumping site and deposited on the Orihuela Costa is seen as totally unacceptable, not only by the residents, but also the councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, who also praised the actions of those involved in trying to keep the streets clean.

It is also worth remembering that the town hall of Orihuela are subscribed to a service known as Linea Verde, which offers both an Android and iOS application for smartphones which enables prompt reporting of incidents, including pictures and location, which can also provide for a prompt response.

The town hall do not want to return to a situation like last year, when a number of residents were also fined by the police, but the fact is that they provide a service, which many residents still don´t pay for, and all they are asking for is cooperation in trying to keep the waste to a minimum on the streets by communicating with the town hall.

However, the police are already aware of a few incidents so far, including the one this week, and they have a duty to enforce the laws and byelaws, so if dumping does continue, then fines should be expected, and the responsibility for those who do care enough to keep the area clean, such as Cath, will be praised for their actions as was the case this week.

The town hall has already started to make plans for controlling the collection service once again, publishing guidelines and advice on how to deal with domestic garden cuttings, with the simple solution that you should contact the town hall in advance in order to ask when and where to put your clippings on the streets, in order to minimise the time it is there, as they will then tell you the best time and arrange collection.

However, commercially generated garden waste is not acceptable, as in clippings and cuttings which have been created by people who are working as gardeners, getting paid to provide a service, and yet expecting the residents of the municipality to pay for disposing of the waste that their activities have created.

All the information on times and schedules can be found on their website, www.orihuela.es, by telephoning the Orihuela Costa town hall on 96 676 00 00 ext 29, emailing them on costa@orihuela.es, or visiting the town hall itself, where the staff will be more than happy to help. The same details can be used for other large items of waste such as furniture and domestic appliances.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43765/

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