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Barcelona to improve street cleaning

Barcelona City Council launched a plan to improve street cleaning. The plan aims to change the perception of residents and visitors of the city by fostering street irrigation, better waste collection and increasing the frequency of cleaning teams, among other initiatives. The city’s downtown and other entertainment areas will also have more police on patrol to prevent people urinating on the streets.


10 January 2012 08:56 PM


ACN / Sara Gómez

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona\u2019s New Year\u2019s resolution is to look cleaner. The city kicked off 2012 by launching a plan to improve the cleanliness of its busiest streets. With this initiative, Barcelona City Council wants to redefine how both residents and visitors perceive the capital of Catalonia, explained the city\u2019s Deputy Mayor for Planning and Environment, Antoni Vives. Among the proposed measures, said Vives, there will be an increased street irrigation work focusing on the areas with the highest number of incidences. The City Council has begun to install 500 double litter bins with a wider capacity than the previous ones and is also considering placing public toilets on the streets to prevent people from urinating in public spaces. On the other hand, commercial cardboard collection will be done in the evening, once shops have closed.

An improvement plan with many branches

More water on the streets, an increase of the revision team\u2019s frequency on the streets and squares with incidences, new passive cleaning material and the modification of the commercial cardboard and paper collection timetable are the four branches of the cleaning plan presented by Barcelona City Council. Regards cardboard collection, the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Environment, Antoni Vives, announced that 10,000 shops have already agreed to leave their waste for collection at the end of the day. The plan to improve the cleanliness of the streets officially began on January 9th. According to Vives, this is a project that adds the new government\u2019s priorities to those that already existed.

Placing public toilets on the streets

Together with the measures included in the cleaning plan, Barcelona City Council is considering installing public toilets on the streets \u2013as it has done in the past\u2013 to reduce the number of people urinating in public spaces. The measure will focus on the neighbourhood of Raval, as well as the rest of the Ciutat Vella district. It will also include some entertainment areas of l\u2019Eixample and Sant Martí.

The city\u2019s strategy to reduce the number of people urinating on the street has changed dramatically. They plan to continue installing portable toilets during festivals and do not discard placing permanent toilets where there is a lot of urine as well as asking bar owners to allow anybody use their toilets. Secondly, they aim to clean the dirtiest streets more often. And thirdly, police will fine those who urinate on pathways.

A high price is paid for the actions of \u201Ca few uncivil individuals\u201D

Barcelona\u2019s Councillor for the Environment, Joan Puigdollers, regrets that the city has to spend \u20AC2.1 million to clean up \u201Cthe mess of a few uncivil individuals\u201D, when the money could be used for other purposes. Puigdollers said that \u201Ctoo much alcohol\u201D is consumed in the city and, therefore, the City Council will start prosecuting beer-can sellers as well as fining those who urinate on the street. The fines will be \u20AC120 for those who spit, \u20AC180 for those who urinate and \u20AC240 for those who defecate.

The City Council\u2019s intention is to reinforce police patrolling and thereby avoid uncivil behaviour related to the street\u2019s cleaning and waste collection. Barcelona\u2019s Deputy Mayor, Antoni Vives, said that in the past months the number of fines has increased \u2013local police have reported more than 4,000 people for urinating on the street in six months.


  • Barcelona will improve the cleaning of its streets (by P. Mateu)

  • Barcelona will improve the cleaning of its streets (by P. Mateu)