The Orihuela Council has finally put out to tender the repair and maintenance contract for the vehicles operated by the street cleaning service and the collection of Solid and Urban Waste (RSU) for an amount of 747,595 euros per year, an amount that is subdivided into several lots : mechanical (582,503 euros), hydraulic (104,544), electrical (54,740) and electronic (5,808) repairs.

Companies wishing to be considered for the contract have until next November 28 to present their submissions.

According to the councillor responsible, Guillermo Cánovas, the duration of the contract will be two years for a total amount of almost 1.5 million euros although it may be extended beyond that.

The service has been provided without a contract since February when the previous agreement expired. Since then, the Council has been paying the bills for the repairs with the credit that remained in the budget, however, in recent weeks the results across the whole of the Orihuela Costa have been appalling, with containers left full of rubbish and uncollected for days on end as many of the service vehicles have been off the road without any possibility of being repaired.

It is coincidental that the tender documentation has only now been released, despite the fact that it was processed on May 31, coinciding with complaints and criticism not only from the residents but also from the departmental staff themselves.

Sources from the UGT and Workers’ Commissions have warned that there are already “18 vehicles that are sitting in the workshop without any possibility of a repair”, about which they have warned that “the cleaning and refuse collection service is in a critical condition”.

The same source stated that the resources they are working with are at an absolute minimum both in material assets and staff, with 60 fewer workers in the municipality. At the same time, they have denounced the non-compliance with many health, safety and security measures with “unusable equipment that is creating occupational risks”, forcing the staff to carry out many tasks in a more precarious manner and with greater risks.

“The municipality of Orihuela is in a dire state with regard to waste collection and street cleaning,” warned the Cabo Roig and Lomas Neighborhood Association, which has also said that “the situation is being suffered with great indignation by the residents of the coast”.

Image courtesy CLARO