A 600.000 euro bill to replace burned containers in Valencia angers city officials because the money could be better used elsewhere.
In the last two years 518 containers in Valencia have been destroyed in acts of vandalism, 278 standard, gray containers, 165 containers for paper and cardboard, and 75 for plastic. According to the City Council, most of them were burned. The total cost of these acts of vandalism has been estimated at 607,700 euros in total.
In an appeal to the public, Sergi Campillo, the deputy mayor and councilor for urban ecology, has called for “the proper care and treatment of urban furniture,” expressing his “outrage” at the fact that public funds, needed elsewhere, are being used to replace burned furniture. According to Campillo, to dissuade potential vandals, the city will have to replace these containers with metal containers that are fire resistant.”
The cost of replacing a container is quite substantial for the municipality’s finances. A gray container costs 1,150 euros, while the containers for paper and plastics cost 1,200 euros each. The glass container, on the other hand, doesn’t cost the municipality any money because it is a property of recycling company Ecovidrio, contractually responsible for replacing the burned unit.
The City Council started replacing the burned containers with metallic units that are identical in appearance and have a deterrent impact. In addition, the Sustainable Urban Waste Management and Public Space Cleaning service will start extensive collaboration with the local and national police in an effort to find and punish the violators.
Maintaining the containers is a huge job, and according to the City Council, they are inspected and fixed very often. Every time a notice is received by telephone (010), or by any city employee, a team is dispatched in a van, with all the tools and spare parts essential for maintenance. On top of a daily wash from the outside, the gray containers are pressure washed four times a year (inside and exterior) using water and degreasing and odorizing chemicals while the other types of the containers are cleaned twice a year using the same technique.