Posted by Julie Day on April 28, 2015
How clean is your city?

A study carried out by consumer rights organization OCU has revealed which of Spain’s cities are the cleanest – and which of them are not so clean.

Researchers have based their results on several sources of information, including information from town halls, budget proposals and residents’ questionnaires.

The town halls of 60 province capitals and large cities were asked to provide details about their budget, the management and their resources for keeping their streets clean. The residents were also questioned about how happy they were with their council’s services.

The results were then compared to a similar survey carried out a few years ago.

The main point to come out from the study is that cleaning services and standards have worsened in the last four years overall. The average valuation residents have given to their town hall’s service for cleanliness has dropped four points from 58 to 54 out of 100.

What is more is that 30% of all those questioned marked their town halls below 50%. In 2011, this figure was only 18%.

Many of the residents’ complaints focused on negative aspects such as the amount of dogs’ excrement on the pavements, graffiti, abandoned buildings which have fallen into disrepair and old and tatty posters that haven’t been removed, which make the area look unkempt.

Once again, Oviedo, in the region of Galicia, came out top in this survey, with the greatest number of residents being satisfied with the services of their town hall. Oviedo was followed by Bilbao, Gijón, Getxo and Vigo.

At the bottom of the list were Jaén, Valencia, Alicante, Madrid and Alcalá de Henares, who all maintained that the cleaning services in their city had deteriorated in the last four years.

In the previous study, Badajoz was the city that fared worst, but this time, due to a change in the management of the town’s municipal cleaning services, Badajoz is the city which has improved the most, jumping up 25 points.

Other cities that fared better this time include Sevilla, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Soria, Vigo and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

On the other hand, the cities whose standards have dropped the most are Granada, Murcia, Madrid, Alicante, Elche and especially Valencia (who dropped 20 points).

The cutbacks made to many of the town halls’ budgets by their governments has been a massive influence in the decline in residents’ satisfaction with their town halls’ cleaning services.

The average paid out per year for each resident is 54 euro, although this varies greatly from city to city.

Those town halls that have managed to increase their budgets for cleaning were the ones that saw residents’ satisfaction increase. This was true for Gijón, Sevilla and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

However, not all residents are happy with the state of their city and this has been noticed in the rise of complaints. Around 20% of those surveyed have complained in the last four years about the cleanliness of where they live. The most complaints have been received in Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Gerona and Jerez de la Frontera.



  • Spain
  • city life
  • town hall services
  • clean


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