Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Javea Council addresses the Ramblars Fire

News Via La Marina Plaza

Javea’s government team admits that the fire “has had complex days” in reference to the smoke and the awful fumes suffered by local people.

  • Blame: “the lack of public awareness” for the fact that rubish, other than green waste, ends up in the landfill.
  • Calls for the plant to be reused to produce biochar (charcoal produced from plant matter and stored in the soil as a means of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.)

Better late than never. But this time it was 33 days too late. That is how long iot has taken for local govenment to finally speak publicly about the Ramblars fire, which has been burning since November 21st. 

The PSPV executive has now issued a statement announcing that…

“the city council wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the fire at the Ramblars transfer plant for weeks.”

The government team assures us that it has not been idle all this time…

The council collaborates with the investigation that the Civil Guard is carrying out and with the recommendations of the firefighters in the face of it’s extinction: creation of firebreaks, cooling of green waste piles or use of land in the lower arreas ”.

Faced with the discomfort of local people

For her part, head of Services, Kika Mata, assures that the fire is following the usual pattern in this type of fires, which are slow-burning, “and it has had more complex days coinciding with the days in which they have been registered, such as great gusts of wind”. 

This has caused deep social unrest in the municipality. For this reason, the executive adds, “the city council’s primary interest is to totally extinguish and put an end to the fumes and annoyance it causes.”

So, Who is guilty?

The city council attributes the serious problems in Ramblars (This is the second time that the landfill has burned in recent years) – to bureaucratic problems: The “Ramblars area is managed through a contract that was forcibly extended in 2019. It is a mechanism, established by law, to not leave a space unattended after two hiring processes were initiated by the City Council – the second was deserted – and the third paralysed by the resources of the aspiring companies.

According to the council, there are other causes that aggravate the Ramblars problem. The first is a recurring issue in the local cabinet – the current Contract Law: “The current tender sets the price per ton management at 21 euros.   Currently it is calculated that the cost is 40 euros per ton, so the company is assuming a service that is not profitable without the option of seeking another temporary contractual solution ”.

And the second, the incivility of the citizens: “Ramblars is a transfer plant where different professionals deposit pruning or tree remains upon payment. The company that is in charge of street cleaning also empties the containers of plant debris located in the eco-parks, a waste that is often “dirty” due to the lack of public awareness, which then mixes with other types of garbage “. 

“In Ramblars they remain temporarily for screening and crushing until the company sells them (compost, fuel, vegetable fill etc …), a complicated task due to the type of green that is collected (mostly branch or shrub remains)”. 

What is the solution?

According to Mata, Javea Council – along with other municipalities with similar problems such as Dénia or Benissa – has, for years demanded a joint solution for “green” from the MARE consortium, the entity that manages the urban waste of the 52 municipalities that cover regions from the Marina Alta and the Marina Baixa, together with the municipality of El Campello, where the organic recycling plant is located. 

The mayor points out that this solution, that municipalities like Javea claim, is something that is now on the table once the great problem of organic waste management has been solved, as a result of the entry into force of new European regulations.In recent years, the Consortium has focused its efforts ( with an investment of more than 20 million euros) in conditioning the El Campello plant (which had an operating contract awarded until 2029) and that did not meet the specifications in organic waste matter.

Mata has recalled that in terms of “green”, the City Council proposed two years ago that it be reused to produce biochar or pellets, a proposal that is being studied by the technical commission (in which Javea is represented) along with two others that the Consortium has received.  That was the alternative that “Compromís per Xàbia” proposed precisely yesterday. 

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