Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The authorities in a sleepy Spanish town are baffled as to why over 9,000 discarded mattresses have been dumped in just three months when there are fewer than 83,000 inhabitants.
In the small town of Torrevieja located on the Costa Blanca in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia, the authorities have reportedly cleaned up 9,081 discarded mattresses from the streets between July and September this year.
The councillor for urban hygiene Carmen Gomez Candel said that services “have been swamped” due to the “uncontrolled dumping” taking place in the small town.
The 9,081 mattresses removed from the streets in three months averages around 100 a day in a town that registered 82,599 inhabitants in 2018, according to Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE).
Local media said the inexplicable spike of stray mattresses has cost the taxpayer around 163,458 EUR (140,900 GBP) and needed 181 trips to the dump in the three months to deal with the problem.
Local government have not been able to offer an explanation for the staggering figure and Gomez told local media: “It could not have been hotels as we do not have that many tourist spots here.
“Also, businesses that supply new mattresses usually retrieve the old ones and are obliged to transport them to a dump.”
According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, the authorities in the nearby town of Santa Pola suggested that “outside companies” are the culprits “to avoid the 10-EUR (8.6-GBP) charge per mattress they have to pay at the recycling point”.
Santa Pola, which has 33,745 residents, has also seen a similar problem with abandoned mattresses. Last year, 13,000 were reportedly removed from the streets in a nine-month period.
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