A PLOT of land reserved for dumping construction waste in Chirivel is being used by locals as a rubbish tip.
Chirivel Town Hall chose the location in July and it was only meant to be there for two months, according to 77-year-old British resident David Schulz from Buckinghamshire.
“It has grown significantly in recent months and is now just 30m from my home,” David, who has lived in Spain for more than 10-years, told EWN. “In the summer the smell was disgusting and overpowering due to the dirty nappies and other rubbish locals have been dumping there,” he said.
“It was only meant to be for construction rubbish, but if people see a dumping ground they will leave things there. It is very unhygienic to have a dumping area so close to residences. I have seen rats as big as cats scampering around the area.” The mess has affected the emotional state of David’s wife, who is recovering from cancer.
“Gina is so depressed she is thinking of going back to the UK until the area has been cleaned-up,” said David. “I called the Town Hall said they had not been dumping there since September, but I have seen the municipal truck leaving items there. Between 7.30am and 1pm the municipal trucks have dumped items there on six occasions.”
EWN contacted the Town Hall who said they no longer dumped items in that location and said they where doing everything they could to clear it up. “The dump was only for debris from construction works to be recycled,” said deputy mayor Santiago Egea, who also runs a local veterinary clinic.
“There is a sign up that says that it is for construction rubbish only, but people may be ignoring it,” Mr Egea said. “In order to clean-up the items in the dump we need the use of a special large machine from Almeria, which we have requested. Unfortunately this machine is currently being used in other municipalities and we do not know when we will be able to use it.”
But for some it seems one man’s trash is another’s treasure. “I have always loved the saying ‘one mans rubbish is another mans treasure’,” said John Taylor* told EWN. “Last winter was the first time I have bought firewood from a supplier.
Normally my supplier of firewood is the local dump. To me it is a haven of bliss!
Over the years I have acquired books, tables and chairs, doors and windows, repairable rabbit cages, and all my firewood requirements have been catered for.”Since rubbish dump sites are moved from time to time it takes John “a lot of investigation to find out where the new one is.”
While John would “love” to have one of these dumps on his doorstep, he “understands some people’s frustration,” but “they never last for too long”. “The dumps also reduce the amount of rubbish people feel it is ok to fly tip in the valleys, which in my mind can only be a good thing,” he added.
*Name changed upon request.
EWN Exclusive By Nicole Hallett