The good weather returns and, with it, the terraces. And so it becomes more visible, again, what has been there all year. Sitting having a drink at one of the tables that proliferate in the Mercadal, Lourdes and Maria commented yesterday that “in a square as beautiful as this one there shouldn’t be containers” because “often, they don’t work or are full, there is rubbish around and it’s not unpleasant”.
The island that falls right in front of them has been damaged for a few days, coinciding with the intensity of Holy Week and the processions, and the situation has outraged bars and restaurants in the area who lament that “tourism arrives and the image that is found is totally demeaning.” They complain that “it looks very bad.” Operators worked yesterday to repair the affected battery. “It is a mechanical thing and, obviously, it can be damaged, but, if we did not have it here in the middle, surely there would be no inconveniences”, criticize the surrounding businesses, and specify that “to all this is added the incivility of some who leave leftovers out.”
The claim is not new. El Tomb de Reus had already formulated it publicly the previous summer, whose president, Jacint Pallejà, now explains to the Diari that “we asked different instances of the City Council to remove the containers, but they told us that it was not easy and that they would look at it.” Complaints point to underground deposits, a system that remains in force only in the nucleus.
According to data from the Reus Geoportal, the municipality has around 80 batteries of this type. The relief in the garbage contract that took place at the end of last year would not affect its continuity. Once the incident in the Mercadal was detected, the City Council has launched “a shock plan that includes a reinforcement of the cleaning of the containers with three daily shifts” and, on the other hand, “the machinery that had a specific problem, considering that there have been several holidays, “as indicated by municipal sources.
«El Mercadal has changed considerably in recent times, it has become a place where the terraces are friendly and people enjoy them much more and, although right now we are not sure what it can be, we do know that a solution should be found to the containers”, adds Pallejà, who recalls that “sometimes they overflow, there are bags on the ground and, with the rise in temperatures, odors will come”. “Now that a new hire has come in and the tooling is being changed, maybe it’s a good time to address the issue,” he concludes. Asked if the request is aimed at replacing all the containers in the center or just those in the Mercadal, Pallejà assesses that “of the entire center we do not know if it could be done just like that, but it is true that in the Mercadal or Prim they compete with terraces ».
Alexis, in charge of the Farggi cafeteria, agrees with him, indicating that “it would be great not to have the containers here, but the point is that in the end they will have to be somewhere” and points out that “we have to find a way out to that they do not bother and the neighbors, who are the ones who use them, also have a place to throw the garbage ». From another restaurant space in the Mercadal, Maiki Poké, Miguel notes that “sometimes they don’t work and there are also many people who leave their garbage outside, and it would be positive if at least this island could be relocated.”
At another of the tables in the square, yesterday at noon, there was a debate. “First there were the containers and then came the bar terraces”, pointed out Josep Lluís, who indicated that “another thing is that the system has not been successful, it is not clean enough or that the mechanism does not always work”. However, sitting next to him, Albert recalled that “if they change them, nobody will want to have them around, there will not be enough containers and that will cause new complaints.”
The collection, at various rates
The discomfort does not only occur in the Mercadal. Also in the Plaza de Evarist Fàbregas, in El Pallol, the restorers mention inconveniences derived from the garbage collection. From Il Cuore, Carina says that “some nights during the week we close a little earlier and then we have no problem, but others it is a little later, people are still having dinner at the tables and they already take out the containers next to us, all outside”. “The truth is that we can’t understand why, but it’s what they do,” she details, insisting that “they put the garbage close to us.” “They should come two or three times a week and clean it, but it doesn’t happen and, if the odors are strong, you have to call to remedy it,” she stresses.
Both in the Evarist Fàbregas environment and, for example, in Plaza Prim, there is a perception among restorers that “in recent weeks” there have been changes in the collection. Some point out the impression that, while before a vehicle used to take the tanks out of the ground, empty them and put them back in the same movement, recently the service is provided in several batches: a truck extracts the containers from the islands buried and puts them aside on the sidewalks and, from there, others empty them and return them to their place.
“It seems to us that they have begun to do it this way for some time, first removing the containers and leaving them outside, or at least that is what we have begun to notice, although we do not know very well what its purpose is or if it is during for a while or it’s going to stay”, they express from Fleca Flaqué.
Asked in this regard, Miguel Pérez, president of the Company Committee of the UTE that provides the service in the city, Reus Net, and the general secretary of urban sanitation of the UGT, Ángel Martín de Sande, specify that “first it passes through the islands a truck that takes all the containers up and then passes another one for each fraction that collects the garbage and stores the deposits”, and they specify that “it is done like this because there were those who thought that it was being mixed, that it was not carried out correctly the separation of waste, and doing it on the surface there is no doubt that they do separate.
Pérez and De Sande assure that this is the same mechanism that was already used before Covid, although the processes of adaptation to the pandemic context that have been applied since 2020 have meant that “now that normality has returned and that there has been a Explosive Easter, perhaps what was usual draws attention ».
Municipal sources clarify that the two passes respond to “a provisional solution” in the face of “a breakdown of the truck” that normally performs this task. As for the Mercadal containers, “some on the surface will also be temporarily installed while working to repair the underground ones as soon as possible.
Place pop-up islands
The City Council has already assured on previous occasions that the underground container model will not be expanded. In fact, in 2020, it presented a proposal to the Feder Funds that contemplated, among other innovations, the implantation of emerging islands in the nucleus. Currently, “work is being done within the framework of the Next Generation”.