Emaya workers are collecting junk during nighttime shifts. | Pere Bota


The arguments over Palma's system of household junk collection are intensifying. With unions representing workers at the Emaya municipal services agency seemingly having weighed in with their criticisms, the agency's president, councillor Neus Truyol, launched an attack on the performance of the Partido Popular when it was governing Palma between 2011 and 2015. The problems with collection and piles of accumulated junk were the legacy of the PP, she maintained.

The PP spokesperson, Marga Durán, suggested that Truyol should stop making excuses and get down to work. It was "unheard of" for someone in office for more than a year to be hiding behind a "legacy" in order to justify why Palma was dirtier than ever.

Durán observed that the PP had left Emaya with a surplus and with its accounts in order following four years of having prioritised essential investment, such as for improving the network of pipes.

"All we now know is that Emaya spends more on senior officials, studies and consultants and much less on maintaining a clean city. There is an obvious failure in the system of collecting junk from the streets, with cleaning in neighbourhoods, and with general rubbish collection, given the containers that are full up in all parts of the city. The chaos of lack of cleanliness has a name: Neus Truyol. She should either listen to public opinion and rectify the situation or assume responsibility for disastrous management."

The unions, meanwhile, have been moderating their criticisms. The representatives of the USO, CSIF and UGT unions on the works' council, aware no doubt of not wishing to give fuel to the PP, now say that at no time did the council question the new system of junk collection at its meeting in June. All that it had done was to assess possible weaknesses and to forward these to Emaya.

There are in fact seven unions represented. The other four have not signed this latest statement, in which the three unions welcome the new system. They have been involved with it from the outset, and nighttime collections have meant improvements to productivity and benefits both to workers and residents.