TEN years after the contracts were drawn up to sort out rubbish collection in Vega Baja, neither the council nor the leaders of the Valencia Region have managed to implement a zoning plan for the waste.
The only outcome so far is the opening of an investigation into potential corruption in the Brugal case.
Now, with the sudden closure of the waste plant in Crevillente, the government has authorised the emergency sending of rubbish trucks to Elche, Villena and Jijona, but this is only a temporary solution to prevent the mounting costs of diverting waste to landfills that are up to 120km away.
For now, Vega Baja requires a transfer station for compacting waste every day in heavy trucks and taking the waste to authorised landfills. This is the only way to reduce the extra mileage involved in moving trucks, one by one, to other parts of the province. The government has offered to manage this service through the public company, Vaersa, which keeps three other similar plants operating in the province, but there is still the need to find a suitable location.
Currently, Almoradi is the only town that has said it has a possible location, in a warehouse on the industrial estate, close to the AP-7 motorway, allowing ease of movement of trucks, but nothing has materialised so far.
The controversy generated by the waste facilities issue is something political leaders are well aware of, especially in Albatera, Granja de Rocamora and Cox, where the former zonal plan wanted to place a landfill and plant to treat the 247,000 tonnes of waste being generated each year in Vega Baja.
The ‘Albatera No To Landfill’ action group has been instrumental in preventing the plants being situated locally and now, with new plans needing to be formulated, they say; “the citizen must be the first link in the chain, the first factor to be considered, instead of moving the problem into the final stages of management (treatment and disposal).”
They believe that part of the solution lies in the principles of being able to recycle and reuse and put in place more organic matter and composting programmes.