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Environment

Council asks for “long overdue” solutions to perennial problems facing electricity supply

foto consell premsa

Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer announced earlier today his intent to send a letter to the regional minister of land, energy and transport, Joan Boned and director general of Endesa's Balearic office, Ernesto Bonín, to express Formentera's collective anger about the electricity problems that have plagued the island. Ferrer said he will demand a suitable electricity service, “long overdue here on the island”.

The president voiced his frustration at “the abundance of service interruptions, excessively long and without notice, that affect so many here on the island”. The fact the most recent occurrence came in January - when use is low and no electrical storms have hit the island - “makes the occurrence even harder to accept”.

Ferrer noted that Formentera's different political parties have come together on the questions facing the island's electricity supply and modernising the Es Ca Marí power station: “This is something that was ignored by the Bauzà administration and has been on the new government's agenda since day one”.

He noted that “Minister Boned visited the island's electricity plant in September and confirmed our requests are fully justified”.

Turning to Endesa for answers

On the responsibility borne by Endesa, Ferrer said: “Putting to one side any problems with the system of supply itself, there is also a very clear issue with regard to the company's attitude. Endesa has got thousands of customers on Formentera – including the Council – that are paying for a service. However, they've got no information point on the island. The only way for customers to get in touch with the company is by telephone and finding additional information is difficult”.

During the power interruption, Daisee Aguilera, the CiF councillor of the environment and energy, contacted the Spanish electricity network (Red Eléctrica Española) and was informed no part of the national infrastructure had malfunctioned. The councillor called the regional ministry in Palma as well as the Endesa company. At 10:45 that evening the latter confirmed two cuts in electricity had been registered on the same power line, though they were unable to provide detailed information about the location. During that time the Council posted all of the information on its social networks as it was received.

The president called on Formentera residents affected by the power outage to “stand up for their rights the same way Endesa does every month at billing time” and, for any homes that would like to file a claim with the company, provided their toll-free customer support number: 800760909.

'100% renewable'—new documentary on Eivissa and Formentera to hit cinema next Tuesday

renovablesA documentary called Ibiza y Formentera 100% renovables (or, rendered in English, “Eivissa and Formentera, 100% renewable”) will be screened at the local cinema on Tuesday December 15 at 8.00pm. Environment secretary Daisee Aguilera thanked Miguel Ángel Villagrasa, Ulises Petinto and Fani Alonso, who are not only the founders of the nonprofit Camarógrafos por el cambio (“Photographers for change”—TN), but also the film's creators, for bringing it to the island.

Ensuing discussion

The Formentera Council is contributing €800 to a production whose creators want audiences to ask the following question: “Is it possible to make Eivissa and Formentera 100% renewable?” After the screening participants of a roundtable discussion— including CiF environment secretary Daisee Aguilera, Fons de Preservació d'Eivissa's Sandra Benbeniste, Amics de la Terra's Jordi Salewski and members of the audience—will attempt an answer.

 

Formentera pushes back Sunday's beach-cleaning due to good weather

Neteja escoles platgesThe Formentera Council's environmental office has postponed the beach-cleaning outing originally scheduled to take place this Sunday, 22 November, in the Ses Illetas zone of the island. Department head Daisee Aguilera pointed to the spell of good weather over the last few days and the recent beach-cleaning carried out by groups of school children as the motives behind the office's decision to «postpone Sunday's community cleaning effort until future storms require further action».

Taking stock after schools coordinate beach-combings

All told, when on 27 November the last group comes back from the beach, 380 local kids between 4 and 12 will have done their part tidying up at the Ses Salines park and Migjorn and ses Platgetes beaches. At the end of each outing, office of environment staff lead recycling workshops and talk to pupils about properly separating waste before tossing it in the bin. «The goal is to raise awareness from a young age», said Councillor Aguilera, who was sure to thank local schools for their involvement.

Class trip to new rubbish drop-off point

Visita deixalleria premsa

The Formentera Council's office of the environment has put together a field trip so that local pupils can get a first-hand look at the island's new waste drop-off centre. According to staff specialist Javier Asensio, who went along too, the visit is aimed at helping Formentera kids «learn how [the tip] works and see what garbage – when too big to fit in normal bins – must be brought here».

A total of 34 boys and girls from the Sant Ferran primary school got to see the inner workings of the drop-off centre. A previous field trip had provided a close-up look at the Formentera transfer station and the chance to see rubbish being weighed and compacted. In Asensio's words, the goal of today's visit was to raise awareness about where our waste ends up and the importance of recycling.

Twenty-five percent of waste in Formentera gets recycled

Earlier today, the Formentera Council's department of environment issued a review concerning the levels of waste generated locally so far this year. Since January, explained department head Daisee Aguilera, one in every four pieces of rubbish generated on Formentera has been recycled. She thanked the people of Formentera for their efforts separating waste at home.

“This”, she said, “is the good news. The bad news is there exists an all-too-frequent occurrence: illegal dumping. Residents, instead of taking certain rubbish to the municipal tip, simply leave it next to the street-side bins”. To tackle the problem, the department of the environment has created stickers to be placed on the abandoned rubbish, which, says Aguilera, “signal the need to initiate an investigation aimed at identifying the offending individual”.

Sixty offences
In fact, so far in 2015 sixty offenders have been caught and sanctioned – the same number as in 2014. As established in the local code of conduct, fines start at fifty euros and can go as high as three thousand. For that very reason, Councillor Aguilera took the opportunity of the press conference to “make a special appeal to the people of Formentera to take any special waste to the newly-opened rubbish tip”.

More recycling, more savings
Aguilera also spoke about the costs associated with waste management, emphasising that pretreatment and transfer costs are only applied to non-recyclable rubbish (whereas recycled waste is exempt from those charges). She concluded: “Recycling means a very real reduction of costs for taxpayers”. The councillor also underscored the importance of domestic recycling because “it permits a reuse of old material”.

Raising awareness among youth of the island
Staff specialist of the office, Diego Ojeda, spoke about the figures reflecting waste collection at the local level. He pointed out the island experiences a boom in waste generation in the summertime and that Formenterers generated 2.5% more trash this October than the same month last year. He noted recycling figures had remained more or less unchanged: up 0.90 points to 24.9% from 24%. To get the number even higher, Councillor Aguilera spoke of the need to raise awareness among the island's youth and said Formentera needs “informational campaigns and beach-cleaning outings for schoolchildren”.

Furniture and large waste collection
Ojeda indicated that this year “we have carried out 260 free home pick-ups (scheduled by phoning 900 102 656) of furniture and other large-items”.

He also referred to the opening this May of the island's rubbish tip and said the site —designed for the drop-off of items not fit for disposal in normal bins— has received 4,065 visits this year. He cited more than 600 tonnes of household waste and approximately 5 tonnes of hazardous waste materials have been collected as well. Encouraging a mindful use of the facility, Ojeda reminded Formentera's residents of the site's opening hours: Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Monday through Friday 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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