Orihuela Costa residents alert Guardia Civil to health risks

Homeowners living on ten communities in Las Ramblas, Orihuela Costa, have lodged an official report to the Environmental Unit of the Guardia Civil, SEPRONA, about a landfill site that is near their homes and two prestigious golf courses. The site is in Pilar de la Horadada, on the boundary with Orihuela, and is estimates to cover more than 150,000 square metres, at a height of 20 metres above ground in some places.

Councillor of the CLARO party, Bob Houliston, gave his support to the complaint, which was delivered by resident Robert Hammond on behalf of some 800 neighbours from the affected areas. They are concerned about the health risks of toxic emissions rising from the site, which is only one kilometre from their homes and they are constantly exposed to.

The report described the fumes that they have been forced to inhale for years as “foul”, highlighting that a landfill site of this expanse would generate up to 48 toxic gases. They also stressed their overwhelming concern about the high number of asthma and cancer sufferers living within such a small area, suggesting a link to the site.

Specifically, the resident’s spokesperson, Robert Hammond, reported “five cases of cancer within two streets”, and called for the relevant authorities to investigate whether there is a link between the illnesses and their close proximity to the landfill site.

Houliston revealed that he has already informed the Los Verdes Mayor, Monserrate Guillén, of the existence of the site, who promptly ordered the Local Police to investigate the situation. He suggested that this reaction substantiates the homeowners’ anxieties.

The Councillor went on to accuse the authorities of turning a blind eye to the landfill activities throughout its twelve years of use, referring to it as a “conspiracy of silence”. Finally, he commented that “It is impossible that they did not know of its existence, and yet have done nothing to close it down.”

SEPRONA have reportedly passed the complaint on to the Environmental Prosecutor, who it is hoped will put an end to the problems at the dump. CLARO have also confirmed that they will continue to take action to close the site and safeguard the health of all of those living nearby.  

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