Clean or dirty? How does your city rank on Spain’s cleanliness scale?

Clean or dirty? How does your city rank on Spain's cleanliness scale?
A business man walks past a pile of rubbish during a strike in Madrid. File Photo: AFP
The city of Oviedo has yet again been crowned the cleanest city in the whole of Spain.

The capital of Asturias has held onto its title in the latest survey by Spain’s Consumers Organization (OCU) which ranked provincial capitals and twenty other sizeable cities based on public spending on street cleaning services as well as public perception of how clean they were.

The survey revealed that, on the whole, Spanish cities get dirtier the further south they are on the peninsula.

Of the top 13 cities, all bar one were located in the northern half of the country – with Castellon on the eastern coast above Valencia being the exception.

The best scoring cities: 

The middle ranking of cities based on cleanness survey: 


Madrid, which was shamed in the last survey of this kind in 2015 by being ranked the most dirty city, has upped its game and came in just sixth last, with 39 points – three more than in 2015.

The city with the lowest scoring points was Jaen, scoring a mere 31 points, while Alicante fared only a little better with a score of 34.

The worst ranking cities for cleanness:

The survey concluded that cleanliness standards were worsening across Spain, with the average recorded at 53 points, two fewer than in 2015 and five below the average in 2011.

People were asked to rate their City councils based on the cleaning services they provided as well as the general state of the streets, taking into account prevalence of dog poo, graffiti, availability of rubbish containers and the existence of “black spots” – areas identified as particularly dirty.

Huesca and Zamora were singled out as cities that had done much to improve cleanliness gaining 12 and 8 points each since the last survey.

While the worst perfomers included La Caruña and Guadalajara – which both dropped a whopping 17 points each – followed by Avila ( down 16points), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (down 13 points) Tarragona (down 11 points). The cities of Cartagena, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Cadiz each dropped 10 points.

The survey revealed that the spending more on cleaning services per capita didn’t directly result in a cleaner city. The cheapest cleaning bill was shared by sixth best ranked Gijon at €32 per resident per annum, while Barcelona, with a spend of €102 only ranked 29 out of the 60 cities in the survey.

“The “cleaner” cities are not the ones that spend the most, nor the dirtiest ones the least, so this is not a decisive factor,” concluded the report.  

“It is clear that climatic conditions do have an influence, but they are not decisive either. “It’s civic education and good management of resources that are essential to maintain a high level of satisfaction”.

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