Spain’s rubbish laws


Los Montesinos – San Miguel
January 13

I have a house at Entre Naranjos, an urbanisation between Los Montesinos and San Miguel. Initially there were only a few hundred properties there and the council provided bins for waste and recycling accordingly. Over the years the urbanisation has grown and now there are several thousand dwellings there, most owned by ‘Brits’ or other Northern Europeans who come here for the winter to avoid the Northern winter weather.
We pay our SUMA and taxes but the waste and re-cycling bins on the site are often overflowing because the council refuse to provide any more bins because there are not enough people on the padrón, but because most of the thousands that live here in the winter are visitors they are not allowed to sign on the Padrón because they do not have ‘Residencia’!
So on the one hand, the council recognise that there are several thousand people here and are happy to take the tens of thousands of euros that we pay in SUMA and other taxes, and yet they won’t provide the services that we pay for because they say that there are not many people here because we are not on the Padrón, and yet they will not let us sign on the Padrón because we do not have ‘Residencia’. And all of this is done in spite of the European Directive that at least 50% of all household waste must be recycled, but without enough recycling bins the recyclable materials go in normal waste bins and to landfill.
What a mess!

MS – a frustrated Brit

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  1. Today I was given a notice for leaving 2 boxes of good condition books next to the blue bin that takes cardboard and I presume Paper.The books were a compilation of Readers Digest series like ‘Wonders of the world’and similar.They were old but in good condition.I had recycled other bags into rubbticish and Plastic.The 2 boxes of books were the last and were neatly stacked by the relevent bin.Suddenly a young man appeared quickly showing me some sort of badge that could have been membership to the local golfclubb or video shop because of the quickeness of his hand.He pointed to the 2 solitary boxes speaking in Spanish.Although i do not speak Spanish well i got the message and replied ‘Yes’meaning i had left them there even though he must have been watching me.He prattle on and between words and actions I gathered he was saying that they should have been put in the bin.I opened the boxes and pointed out the books.He shook his head and said one word,’Papel’.I tried to tell him that someone might be interesred in reading them,they were too good to throw away.Whether he understood or not he refused to listen and asked me for my N.I.E, my name,my address and if this was my car.I began to panic,was he going to arrest me.I explained in broken Spanish that my 29 year old grandson just lived 2 minutes a round the corner and he could speak Spanish fluently.Shaking his head he telephone someone all my details ,filled in a form,handed it to me and said that I would get a notice in 2 weeks and a fine.Then off he drove.I am a fanatic at recycling,i get many cardboard boxes delived with cat food.I always flatten all boxes,milf cartons cereal boxes etc and religiously place them in the cardboard bin,rubbish in the rubbish bin,glass in the glass depositary and plastic in the plcially before Ch ristmasastic bin.I admit that if I have something that could be used by someone else I do leave it in a clean box or plastic bag near the relevent bin instead of throwing it in the rubbish,hoping that someone might find use for it,SO DO MANY,MANY PEOPLE LEAVE THINGS NEAR THE BINS INSTEAD OF THROWING THEM AWAY.ASK THE LOW PAID BINMEN WHO NO DOUBT HAVE TAKEN HOME A BARGAIN OR A TOY IN GOOD CONDITION.Perhaps a depositary could be setup,for ‘Segunda Mano” items,especially before Christmas and the 3 King.We all know that there are people struggling to make ends meet,many people are out of work.Why throw second hand goods in good condition in the stinking rubbish.Some people renew items well before their sell by date and these things would ne welcome by people who have little.Books,clothing,toys,household items,bedding,furniture and much more,just and IDEA AT THIS STAGE.

  2. There is a few million tourists and residents who made Spain a second home but the idea of doing anyone a favour by leaving all sorts of rubbish next to the containers is an extreme nuisance for anyone living next to the containers. Once one piece of rubbish is left in the street there is an army of flytippers who dump their crap as well. It looks disgusting – want to do z as y favors then keep all rubbish at your house and approach the poor bin men when they drive along and hand it to them if they want it or just keep it on your own terrain.Take a look at the mess at the Costa streets.


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