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Multi-million-euro Waste Disposal Contractor being Given “Favourable” Treatment

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The PSOE of Torrevieja has accused the ruling PP of favourably treating the company Acciona, which is contracted to provide the majority of waste disposal services in the municipality, and yet, as many people would testify through experience, are considerably deficient in doing so.

The mayor announced in the plenary session as requested by the PSOE in 2023 that Acciona was going to be fined 319,000 euro for its breaches of contract during the month of July and that the bill for that month alone was going to be reduced by 580,000 euro, and from then on whatever was appropriate. However, the city council technicians have confirmed to the Socialist Party spokesperson, Bárbara Soler, that the sanctions are reduced to 135,000 euro and that the reduction in invoices for the entire year 2023 will be between 200,000 and 300,000 euro.

Furthermore, the company would be making exclusive use of vehicles that became municipal property at the end of the previous contract without there being, according to the technicians, documentation that formalises the regime in which said elements are available, some of which are discharged by Decree of 2020.

The Decree, signed by the then councillor responsible for the department, Gómez Candel, contemplates the need to decommission a series of vehicles and machinery at the end of their useful life, no longer being valid to provide the service. In the same document, the rental of other vehicles and machines is agreed to replace the previous ones, which represented a cost to the municipal coffers of around 100,000 euro per month.

Once Acciona is awarded the service in mid-2022, it was obliged to provide the service with machinery and vehicles with very specific characteristics. However, the company already announced in the first month of the contract that it would not be able to fulfil this contractual requirement because it could not find the necessary elements on the market to buy or rent. Thus, the Torrevieja Council authorised Acciona to use different elements for as long as they could not access the stipulated ones. However, Acciona has not only been using vehicles other than those contemplated in the contract but has also used and continues to use several municipally owned vehicles without this having led to a reduction in its invoices and without there being documentation that provide coverage for this use, according to what the technicians themselves have answered to Bárbara Soler.

Furthermore, the councillor has assured that she has photographs and videos that corroborate that there are municipally owned vehicles providing the service but that it is not a controversial fact, since this is recognised in various reports and Decrees, which even include the lists. Although not complete, there are other vehicles that we can see on our streets working, that belong to the Council and that do not appear on the lists found in the reports.

More serious is the circumstance that some of those vehicles that continue to provide service today should have been decommissioned in 2020 according to the Decree shown by Bárbara Soler. These are vehicles that are 20 years old and have more than one and a half million kilometres on the clock, double the kilometres that appeared in the reports when the end of their useful life was agreed in 2020. As an example, collection vehicles no. 2245 with registration 4770DCK and #2279 with registration 4885-DDS.

Soler has ended up asking the PP to assume political responsibilities and give explanations about the use of municipal vehicles for private purposes even outside the municipality “by a company that continues to seriously breach the contract, with the only one affected being the city of “Torrevieja”. Likewise, she has demanded that vehicles that should have been deregistered four years ago and that “are neither suitable to provide the service nor safe for the workers who are forced to use them” be removed from circulation.

It should be noted that this contract costs a quarter of the entire municipal budget, and yet it is the users, already paying for the “service”, who are threatened with fines for failing to use the dustbins correctly, despite the fact that in many places the appropriate bins don´t even exist.

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