| 04/27/2015 – 2:06 p.m.
A study by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) on municipal cleaning services in 60 municipalities places Segovia, Soria and Palencia among the ten cleanest cities in Spain. The rest of the provincial capitals of the Community, except León, Ávila and Zamora, receive an assessment above the national average.
One of the conclusions of the study is that urban cleaning has worsened in the last four years since the average assessment given by users has dropped from 58 to 54 points. A statement that is not fulfilled in the Autonomous Community since all cities maintain the same valuation as in 2011, except for Soria that improves and Burgos, where it decreases.
The report, which appears published in the OCU-Compra Maestra magazine for the month of May, has resorted to two sources of information. On the one hand, the association consulted the town councils of all the provincial capitals and some large cities, about the budget, the management and the means that they allocate to the cleaning of the city. On the other hand, the OCU carried out a survey to its members during the past month of February in which more than 5,825 users have participated, which made it possible to evaluate the perception that residents have about cleanliness in their city. To analyze its evolution, the data were compared with a similar study carried out in 2011.
The OCU measured different parameters such as the annual budget per inhabitant and the municipal resources through different indicators (paper mills, mechanical means and number of employees).
It also took into account the satisfaction of the neighbors with the cleanliness in different aspects. Dog droppings, graffiti and posters and the deterioration produced by abandoned houses and premises are the worst valued aspects. To these must be added the distance that occurs in the cleaning of the most emblematic areas of the cities with more remote neighborhoods or areas indicated as black points by many of the interviewees.
Oviedo repeats at the top
Once again Oviedo repeats as the city where citizens are most satisfied with its cleanliness, with an overall satisfaction of 82 points. They are followed by Bilbao (73), Gijón (72), Getxo (71) and Vigo (70), with satisfaction above the notable. At the opposite extreme are Jaén (39), Valencia (39), Alicante (36) and especially Madrid (36) and Alcalá de Henares (34) as the cities worst valued by their neighbors in terms of cleanliness.
Segovia, Soria and Palencia appear in eighth, ninth and tenth place, respectively, with a score of 66. They are closely followed by the ratings of the residents of Burgos (64 points in 12th place), Valladolid (63 points in 13th place) and Salamanca (60 points in 16th place). Below the national average are León, with 57 satisfaction points and in 24th place; Ávila, with a valuation of 56 points in position 27 and Zamora, with 54 points and in position 36.
Segovia and Ávila are the cities that allocate the most budget per inhabitant to cleaning, with 54 and 51 euros per neighbor, although the city councils of Salamanca, León and Zamora did not provide this information.
Badajoz and Valencia are the face and the cross of the organization’s work. Badajoz was the worst rated city in the previous study. However, a change in the management of the service and the increase in the budget have made it the place where the assessment has improved the most (25 points), surpassing the approved one. Seville, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Soria, Vigo and Santa Cruz de Tenerife have also improved significantly. On the contrary, the cities where cleaning has worsened the most in the last 4 years have been Granada, Murcia, Madrid, Alicante, Elche and especially Valencia, which suffered the greatest drop of all the cities in the OCU study (20 points).
The OCU considers that the cuts suffered in the budgets of many municipalities have influenced the drop in citizen satisfaction regarding the cleanliness of their city. The average annual expenditure is 54 euros per inhabitant and year, although with great differences depending on the city. It is precisely the cities in which the municipal budget has been reduced where this assessment has fallen the most, such as Cuenca, Valencia and Zaragoza. On the contrary, an increase in budgets has increased user satisfaction, such as in Gijón, Seville and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The dissatisfaction of residents in some cities is evident, which has led to an increase in the number of complaints. 20 percent of those surveyed by OCU have complained in the last four years about cleanliness, especially in Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Gerona and Jerez de la Frontera. The response from the municipalities has not been good, judging by the low valuation that users make in this section.