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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Environment

Formentera boasts 26.6% less waste in 2020

foto 2021 ca na putxaThe Formentera Environment Department reports that a 2020 tally of local waste came in at approximately 7,538 metric tonnes (t) — a 26.6% drop relative to the 10,223 t generated one year earlier.

Figures for urban solid waste collection waned as well, falling from 6,236 t in 2019 to 5,057 t in 2020 (-19%). Paper and cardboard collection diminished in kind, going from 959 t to 678 t (-29%), while plastics slipped from 680 t to 551 t (-19%) and glass from 977 t to 658 t (-33%).

Environment chief Antonio J Sanz said the pandemic’s mark on last year’s figures was understandable and “plain to see”, pointing up pronounced dips in paper and glass collection (“both materials are more common to the hospitality industry”, added Sanz, “sadly where most closures and activity level hits have occurred”). “On the bright side, upswings came in plastic, paper and cardboard recycling in the two pre-pandemic months of 2020, meaning islanders are getting better at recycling, particularly when it comes to glass, paper and cardboard, and that we have a clearer sense of good practices in general”.

Collection of food scraps and other organic waste was placed on hold last year for reasons related to public health. “Our local process for treating organic waste is very labour intensive”, Sanz asserted, adding that, given the public health risk the procedure represented, a decision was made to prioritise worker safety. As to whether organic waste collection would resume in 2021 and what such a resumption might look like, Sanz insisted the answer would depend on the unfolding pandemic. Without counting organic collections, overall recycling slipped to 25.04% in 2020 (down from 32.48% a year earlier).

First Zero Waste Municipality
The island’s most recent plenary assembly brought backing for Formentera’s membership in ‘Zero Waste Municipalities’, a certification programme of the European Union in which Formentera is now Spain’s first participating municipality. Eligibility requires staying the course on recycling policies, including the Consell’s pallet reuse initiative, which currently runs a tally of nearly 700 repurposed pallets, and a two-month-old recycled cycles programme which has already secured new homes for nearly one hundred used bicycles. But, Councillor Sanz insists, work is far from over. “Our two-part mission is to cut waste and use our resources more efficiently, and it's one we’ve yet to fully accomplish today”.

4 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Crews remove nearly 3,000 processionary nests by hand in one week

foto 2021 processionaria 1The Formentera Environment Department reports that approximately 3,000 pine processionary nests have been removed from local pine trees in the last seven days. The Consell de Formentera has brought in two outside contractors at a cost of €8,872 to oversee the effort, which started near the hospital and cemetery before continuing to Camí des Brolls, the Sant Ferran petrol station, Camí Vell de la Mola, Migjorn and Es Ca Marí. The 20-day operation will ultimately cover a large part of affected pine trees on the island.

Over five thousand cartridges scheduled to arrive in the days ahead will be used by local hunters who have agreed to collaborate in the effort to destroy nests in tall branches.

Islanders and healthy forests department collaborate
Environment chief Antonio J Sanz encouraged landowners and islanders at large to do their part to safeguard Formentera’s forests, and said the FED had information and other material  for those needing assistance.

“Tackling the pest’s spread on Formentera must continue to be a priority for the Balearic healthy forests department”, said Sanz. “We’re  seeing the caterpillar in more and more places, and aren’t out of the woods yet, not by a long shot.”

The Balearic Islands Institute of Nature, or Ibanat, is also working simultaneously to eliminate nests from the area of the island known as Sa Tanca d’Allà dins.

For more information visit the FED (Àrea de Medi Ambient) at carrer Mallorca, 15 (baixos) in Sant Ferran de ses Roques; call 971 32 12 10 ext.1 or send an email to mediambient@conselldeformentera.cat. Islanders can likewise contact the healthy forests division of the Balearic government on their website, or by phone (971 17 66 66) or email.

27 January 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Garden upkeep and trimming near Sant Francesc school

foto 2021 poda 1With schools closed for the holidays, the Formentera Environment Department has ordered a range of garden upkeep and trimming to be performed in the Sant Francesc school zone. Last week crews pruned a number of trees, including one eucalyptus more than ten metres tall, and rid nearby pines of processionary nests. Pruning the tallest portions of trees makes the surrounding area safer by reducing the risk that branches are felled by strong winds.

8 January 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell reminds landowners to keep pine trees in proper phytosanitary conditions

foto 2021 processionariThe Formentera Environment Department (FED) reminds landowners with pine trees that they are required, in light of growing local spread of the pine processionary, to make sure proper phytosanitary conditions are maintained among the trees. Islanders can alert the municipality to the presence of nests by means of the Línea Verde app, by contacting the Consell directly, or by visiting FED.

New telescopic shears and 5,000 munitions cartridges for nest removal

This year the Formentera government has purchased two long-handled pruning shears to remove nests at heights of five to six metres. Islanders who agree to certain conditions can borrow the shears at no charge from FED. Five thousand recently purchased ammunition cartridges will be distributed to local hunting groups who have traditionally joined in efforts to eliminate processionary nests.

“The Consell will do everything it can to make this easier for landowners”, said FED councillor Antonio J. Sanz, calling such individuals’ help “fundamental to combating the invasive pest”. Landowners are the ones responsible under municipal bylaws to remove nests, and Sanz said additional help is available to islanders who are unable to do so.

Wintertime signs of the pest’s spread in untreated areas include dry needles at branch tips and groups of caterpillars nesting for warmth. Pine processionaries are defoliators, meaning they feed on leaves, attacking pine trees and even causing serious damage if attacks are sustained or trees are already in a weakened state.

In the final months of 2020, the Healthy Forests Service of the Balearic division of natural spaces and biodiversity teamed up with the Consell de Formentera to perform targeted helicopter dustings of biological agent Bacillus thuringiensis.

Recommendations

FED and the Balearic Healthy Forests Service reminds islanders:

1.-If you see the processionary on the island, tell the appropriate authorities, noting where they are and how many nests you see.

2.-Remove nests from any affected pines.

3.-The most effective way to stop the processionary is to cut down nests and burn them.

4.-Take steps when removing nests to protect yourself from the caterpillar’s urticating hairs. Wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves and protective eyewear.

5.-Because urticating hairs that come loose in the wind can cause breakouts or other dermatological reactions, nests should be removed with one’s back to the wind.

6.-Once removed, nests must be destroyed. Forest services recommend burning them far removed from wooded areas to minimise the risk of fire.

7.-Caterpillars can also be crushed or shot (make sure you have a hunting permit and that seasonal hunting restrictions allow).

For more information visit the Healthy Forests Service at http://sanitatforestal.caib.es or contact the office by calling 971 17 66 66 or emailing sanitatforestal@caib.es . Visit FED (Àrea de Medi Ambient) at carrer Mallorca, 15 (baixos) in Sant Ferran de ses Roques, or contact the office at 971 32 12 10 ext.1 or mediambient@conselldeformentera.cat.

7 January 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera enhances local energy management with new info and monitoring system

foto 2020 SIEThe Formentera Environment Department announces a newly introduced system aimed at improving management and savings of energy on the island. Dubbed SIE for sistema d’informació energètica, the scheme paves the way for real-time monitoring of electricity, gas and water use in buildings and lighting installations on the island.

According to environment councillor Antonio J. Sanz, the system “generates energy efficiency data by pinpointing structures with the greatest potential for energy savings and where advanced monitoring and remote management systems could be useful”. The councillor described SIE as “a more agile and efficient way to view and compare data, and one that will help us implement energy savings and efficiency solutions”.

Municipalities commit to clean energy
The Consell de Formentera joined municipal leaders across the Balearics by writing SIE rollout and a host of other energy efficiency and renewable energy measures into a regional compact for climate and energy that was backed by the European Commission. The EC views climate change as a global problem with local solutions: cities generate emissions, but they must also be the sources of new innovative ideas and projects to fight global warming.

SIE is currently in use at more than one thousand public buildings run by roughly twenty Balearic municipalities.

18 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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