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Improving trash-tossing habits

Foto xerrada residus escoletaStaff at the Formentera Council's two escoletes, or “nurseries,” attended a course today aimed at promoting good waste disposal habits. An environmental educator spoke to the workers about how to group rubbish before tossing it out and where it goes once it's binned. Environment secretary Daisee Aguilera gave an indication of the answer: the Deixalleria, or “rubbish tip,” as it's called in English. Said Aguilera of the course, “attendees got a sense of just how much it really costs to dispose of garbage”. The workshop was held at 11.30am this morning in the conference hall of the Office of Culture.

According to Aguilera, when a visit to assess bin habits confirmed that recycling was already routine in the kitchen, the teachers' lounge and common areas of the nurseries, the educator proposed implementing separate recycling bags in classrooms this year. The workshop could potentially be extended to other schools on the island.

Student outings will also be organised to the Deixalleria and local transfer plant. It's all part of an effort, says Aguilera, to give youngsters “an up-close look at what happens when they toss something in the bin”. Adults can get in on the visits too—just another way to make sure people know what becomes of their waste. Anyone interested in participating can send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Islanders increasingly using waste treatment plant

Foto Deixalleria seccio podaThe Formentera Council's Office of Environment has released figures for the island's waste treatment plant showing that, although the Deixalleria logged 10,420 visits last year, the 5,956 rubbish drop-offs registered during the first half of 2017 represent an increase of 508. This year, operators at the plant have reported an average of 39 daily visits, up from 35.5 a day in 2017.

For environment secretary Daisee Aguilera, the figures are a clear indication that the Deixalleria, a facility built in May 2015, “is now a fixture on the island”. The plant accepts garden trimmings, building waste and scrap metal.

Furniture and appliance pickup
According to Aguilera, home pickup of large appliances and furniture is another service whose role on the island has become consolidated. Operators called on 414 homes in the first six months of the year, 76 more than the same period in 2016, when the service reported 338 house calls. A spike in use of the service is pointed up by figures from the two years prior: in 2015 and 2014, pickups totalled 113 and 63, respectively. The telephone number to request the free service is 900.102.656.

The secretary took the opportunity to once again urge Formentera residents to do their part in improving local waste treatment, “for a cleaner island that's both environmentally and economically more sustainable”.

The Deixalleria, located at Formentera's industrial park on the Sant Francesc-La Mola highway, opened in May 2015. All special waste—anything not disposable at street-side bins—should be taken there, Monday to Saturday, 9.00am to 1.30pm, and Monday to Friday, 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

Half of Es Molí's energy needs met by solar power

Foto edifici es moliThe Formentera Council has commissioned the fitting of 20 solar panels at Es Molí. It is hoped the installation will enable the social centre, which houses the island's youth centre—el Casal de Joves—and Ràdio Illa, to generate 50 per cent of the building's annual energy needs of 19,265 kWh.

Including VAT, the project had a price tag of €15,795.34. Five thousand of that amount was covered with funding from the European Union's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), distributed by the Govern. The remainder of the tab was picked up by the Council.

With the executive branch of the Balearic government currently offering local administrations a new line of subsidies, the Council is currently preparing its application—due November 3—in an effort to expand renewable energy across CiF facilities.

Funding for private citizens and businesses
Stressing the importance of Formentera's gradual shift toward sustainable energy solutions, Environment secretary Daisee Aguilera pointed to a new kind of subsidies that the Govern balear offers individuals, non-profits, businesses and business associations to promote solar panel installations.

Private households stand to receive 50% off solar panel installations that generate up to 3kW power, at a maximum cost of €1.50/W. The funding maxes out at €2,250. For businesses, for whom subsidies can cover up to 40% of installations generating 30kW, funding can go as high as €18,000. Applications will be accepted until September 1.

Complete information on the funding, as well as the application, can be found at http://www.caib.es/govern/sac/fitxa.do?codi=2229301&coduo=2390767&lang=ca

Another subsidy offered by the Govern, promoting taxis that are either electric, plug-in hybrids, produce reduced emissions or run on compressed natural gas or liquified petroleum gas, can be requested until October 11. That information, and the application, is available at http://www.caib.es/govern/sac/fitxa.do?codi=2319379&coduo=2390767&lang=ca

Two illegal encampments ousted from Illetes beach

Foto campament platjaAfter apprising coastal authorities of two unauthorised encampments on Illetes beach, CiF Office of Environment crews joined officials from demarcació de Costes on visits to the sites in question, seeing to it that their occupants dismantled them. It has been the third such incident this month.

Crew members from two yachts—95-metre Kismet and 71-metre Titania—had pitched numerous items on the seashore without possessing any of the permits required to do so.

One of the outposts measured 30m2 and consisted of a covered stand, 12 hammocks, 5 umbrellas, 2 easy chairs and markers staking out the area. In the other case, the individuals arrayed a 40m2 space with a shade tent, two food tables, two chairs, an umbrella, paddle surf boards and bathing material like towels and creams.

'Our beaches belongs to everyone'
In the words of the CiF environment secretary, “on Formentera public land belongs to everyone”. Barring specific exceptions, Councillor Daisee Aguilera pointed out, private use of beaches is prohibited. “What concerns us is that today's occurrence is the third of its kind in the past month,” she said. Aguilera took the opportunity to voice thanks to two parties: locals for collaborating by reporting cases when they spot them, and Costes for helping keep beaches public.

One month on, compost collection 'off to a good start'

Foto recollida organica bar centroThe Formentera Council's Office of Environment has released figures following a one-month trial of compost collection across 47 of the biggest waste producers in Sant Francesc's town centre. From June 19 to July 23, crews collected 26,494 kg of compost, or an average of roughly one tonne per day. The CiF environment secretary applauded participants for the pilot programme's “increasingly positive figures”.

With help from the Leader group, the testing phase of the project sought to gauge the impact of compost collection among some of Formentera's largest generators of organic waste—restaurants, bars, cafés, supermarkets, fishmongers, butchers and flower shops, for instance. The trial also included Formentera's hospital and early-childhood learning centre, or escoleta, as well as, in recent weeks, businesses at the island's industrial park. Each participating establishment was given special, small-sized bins that collection crews picked up nightly. According to Councillor Aguilera, the project aims to meet the targets laid out by a waste management directive which is currently in the works.

The environment chief hailed the success of the initiative, which, “generally, has been very well received,” she said. Aguilera thanked businesses for their cooperation and encouraged them to stick with it. “Your work is contributing to improved waste management strategies,” she promised. The initiative is overseen by one environmental fieldworker who is also tasked with improving recycling strategies of other materials.

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