BURNING WASTE TIP BACK IN THE NEWS
The burning waste tip on the border of Orihuela Costa and Pilar, which has been spewing out toxic fumes for the last several years, was back in the news again this week.
A team from the National Channel 1 TV was in the area investigating illegal waste tips and thanks to cooperation between C.L.A.R.O. and the action group against illegal waste tips, VERTIVEGA, after filming in La Murada, next to Orihuela city, they came to report on the burning waste tip on the border of Orihuela Costa and Pilar. This illegal waste tip pre-dates the La Murada tip and for many years was used to dump waste of all sorts from all over the area. It is a big financial advantage for those in charge of waste disposal to simply dump whatever they collect wherever they can rather than paying to have it disposed of and treated legally. For perhaps 20 years that was what they were doing on the Orihuela Costa-Pilar border. Years after they stopped dumping, the process of natural internal combustion resulted in the mountain of rubbish beginning to smoulder and flame and spew toxic gases into the atmosphere.
The national TV team were impressed by what they saw and filmed. The mountain of waste, perhaps 20 metres high and covering an area of some 50,000 square metres, the equivalent of 30 football pitches, contains waste of all sorts. Visible are remnants of tyres, plastic and metal and below the surface is decomposed and smouldering domestic waste. It is speculated that dangerous medical waste could also be buried in the depths of the mountain. The publicity which should come at national level from this visit could be most useful in getting the authorities to accept responsibility and decide to do something about this danger to the environment and public health.
The visit coincided with the arrival of a reply to the denuncia elaborated by Las Ramblas Urbanizacion President , Bob Hammond with the help of C.L.AR.O. Although it has taken since July last year and a reminder, the Guardia Civil environmental branch, SEPRONA, has formally reolied that the complaint made was investigated by them and their report was submitted to the criminal court in Orihuela which has accepted to investigate the complaint. Furthermore, SEPRONA, after confirming the facts detailed in the denuncia, have submitted a report to the Environmental Prosecutor in Alicante. Both their action in informing the criminal court in Orihuela and the Environment Prosecutor in Alicante have been reported to the regional government in Valencia.
The reply to the denuncia is formal and authoritative. The complaint is now not only in the hands of the criminal court in Orihuela but also in the hands of the Environmental Prosecutor. There can be every confidence that these proceedings will, with time, lead to a solution to the problem. The political authorities alone have not been willing to accept responsiblity for what will be a costly process to remove or make safe the waste tip. But with the court and prosecutor service seized of the matter, there is good reason to hope that a solution will be imposed on them by the courts.