• Català
  • Castellano
  • English
Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Environment

Formentera recycled 14.6 % more plastic containers in 2016

Reciclatge contenidors premsaAccording to the administration's Office of Environment, Formentera notched a 7.27% year-on-year spike in paper/cardboard, glass and plastic container recycling, moving from 2,106.62 tonnes in 2015 to 2,259.82 in 2016. That year the island generated 9,904.90 tonnes of rubbish and recyclable material — 6.31% higher than in 2015, when the figure was 9,316.44 tonnes.

By material, Formentera residents recycled 14.6% more so-called “light plastics” (383.08 tonnes in 2015 compared to 439.10 tonnes in 2016). The next most significant year-on-year rise was in glass recycling, which jumped 9.94% from 854.52 tonnes to 939.54 tonnes. A modest uptick was registered in paper and cardboard recycling – from 2015 to 2016 the figure climbed from 869.02 tonnes to 881.18 tonnes, a 1.3% increase.

Cash savings
Recognising their efforts to “make waste management on Formentera more sustainable”, environment councillor Daisee Aguilera thanked the people of the island in general and the big producers (cafés, restaurants, hotels and apartments, shops, etc) in particular. The councillor underscored the potential economic benefits recycling could have for the island, noting “in 2016, the island netted €179,206.74 by selling recycled paper/cardboard, plastics and glass”.

Aguilera said the money was used to increase collection frequency and bankroll bin maintenance and educational outreach among businesses (big waste producers) and school children.

In the councillor's words, “if these materials had been sent to the Ca Na Putxa rubbish tip instead of being recycled, we would have paid €137 per tonne plus an additional €30 per tonne tax”. Given freight costs are covered by the recycling companies themselves (Ecoembes collects paper/cardboard and plastics and Ecovidrio recycles glass), Aguilera held up waste transfer savings of €377,389.94 in 2016.

Debris cleared from local gully

posidonia acumuladaIn an announcement today, the Formentera Council's Office of Environment detailed recent work by the department to clear a gully called “torrent de s'Alga” located on the Migjorn coastline, of accumulated sediment and seaweed. According to environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, heavy rains in December and January led to a large build up of sediment at the mouth of the torrent, or gully. “There was a risk,” she said, “the pile-up of rocks would prevent fishermen from getting their boats on the water.”

Faced with that possibility, fishermen petitioned for the debris to be removed and a deal was struck between the Council and the coastal authority to that effect. The administration brought in an outside company to carry out the week-long task, which entailed ridding the gully of 350 cubic metres of material — 250m3 of rocks and 100m3 of posidònia seagrass. Similar circumstances came to pass some twenty years ago, when accumulated sediment ultimately obstructed exiting fishermen. In that case, crews worked in the water to remove the debris, a task Aguilera described as “much more laborious”.

Formentera pupils get lesson in recycling and composting

visita deixalleria premsaThe Formentera Council's Office of Environment has reported today that in every classroom of every school on the island students will now find an "ecology spot" — a station where rubbish and recyclable material can be binned. Department head Daisee Aguilera explained the measure and pointed out new high volume bins installed on school playgrounds by the Ecoembes company.

Calling it an effort to give kids “first-hand experience recycling" and a "good reminder of recycling's environmental importance", Aguilera says starting with young learners is "an investment in a more sustainable future". Now in its second year, the project gives children a chance to visit the island's rubbish tip (Deixalleria) and transfer station. As the councillor points out, the experience provides a close-up look at what happens to the things we throw away on the island.

Composting workshops
Last week composting classes began across the island. All told, Formentera's three primary schools will see ten composting workshops tailored for students' practical use on school vegetable patches. The lessons are funded by the Formentera Council and the Govern's ministry of environment. "Our hope," said Aguilera, "is that we can get children in the habit of recycling early and make sure they take an active role in sustainable waste management."

Limit palm tree pruning to January and February

Poda palmeraThe Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture has reiterated the restrictions placed on pruning plant species that are susceptible to the red palm weevil, namely, palm trees. Residents are asked to limit their pruning to January and February, given these have been the coolest months in recent years. That cold is significant because Rhynchophorus ferrugineus —the insect also known as the red palm weevil which has devastated palm trees— reduces and even halts its activity altogether at low temperatures.

Law 4/2016 of January 29, which establishes the need for efforts within the Balearic region to eradicate the insect, restricts palm tree pruning to the chilliest months.

Authorisation from agriculture office
Recall that, to prune palm trees, individuals must always have the prior permission of the CiF Office of Agriculture, the goal being to protect pruned trees from infestation and to ensure proper disposal of the garden waste generated in the process. With the green-light of the agriculture office, individuals are allowed to take waste to the local transfer plant, free of charge.

With plants that are susceptible to weevil infestation a series of precautions should be followed. Prune only dry leaves. When green leaf pruning is absolutely necessary, cuts should be kept to a minimum and a scarring solution or other plant protection treatment should be applied. Cuts should be clean and trunks should not be pared. “Close shave” techniques should be avoided when pruning is ornamental. This kind of pruning should only be applied when necessary and followed with a plant protection treatment immediately after. If any weevils are detected during pruning, contact the Council's Office of Agriculture so that the necessary steps can be followed.

Renewed efforts to halt spread of pine processionary

foto procesionaria 2017 premsaThe Formentera Council Office of Environment has launched an effort to control the spread of the pine processionary caterpillar. According to Daisee Aguilera, councillor in charge of the department, two professional forestry workers have been brought in to oversee a three-week push that will include removal and controlled burning of the pine processionary's nests.

Members of Es Cap de Barbaria's hunters' club have volunteered to shoot down nests from otherwise out of reach pine-tops. In addition to financing the campaign, whose cost so far stands at 7,547 euros, the Council has helped the local shooters in their task by purchasing 2,500 shotgun cartridges.

Area of action
This year, besides operations in Es Cap de Barbaria, considered the hardest hit area on the island, controls will be extended to parts of Sant Francesc, Ses Bardetes and Ses Salines park, where the caterpillar has also turned up, albeit in reduced numbers. Aguilera stressed the pine processionary's spread across the new areas of action, in the periphery of the current centre, remained unsubstantial. “However,” she said, “the aim behind extending nest removal to these zones is to stop the insect's expansion”.

Local involvement
Aguilera turned to Formentera residents for help identifying pine trees affected by the pest. Anyone with useful information is asked to call the Office of Environment at  971 32 12 10 or visit the Citizen Information Office (OAC), in person or online.

The Council thanked the administration in Palma for its speed in this initial phase of the campaign, which included on-the-ground treatment measures. This move came on the back of a proposal that was unanimously adopted at the Council's September 30 plenary session last year. In October and November, members of Ibanat, the wilderness brigade in the Balearics, were tasked with a push to control the insect's spread using a spray treatment.

Formentera residents rejected aerial application of a chemical agent called diflubenzuron in 2014 on the grounds that the method wasn't selective and had known detrimental effects on flora, fauna and human health.

“A technical meeting to review our control efforts to date is being planned for the end of February. Based on that information we'll recalibrate our strategy as we move forward combating the pine processionary's spread,” concluded the councillor.

More Articles...

Page 41 of 50



Formentera neta, naturalmet gràcies a valtros

Xarxa Natura de les Illes Balears

Punt d'Informació Ambiental

Balears Life Posidonia