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Road to sustainability—island prepares to reactivate formentera.eco to limit in-bound vehicles in July and August

foto-segona-sessio---consell-e3The Consell d’Entitats reconvened today, Thursday 6 February, in the second of two sessions devised to appraise member groups of plans for formentera.eco in 2020. After an initial gathering last week where the proposal was unveiled, today’s session saw groups get answers to some of their questions surrounding the measure and a vote on exactly when “regulated vehicle entry” will be enforced in 2020.

Citizen participation councillor Vanessa Parellada oversaw the event, which administration chief Alejandra Ferrer kicked off with a look back at the “three-pronged sustainable tourism strategy” used by Formentera to court visitors in recent years. “We’re talking about making the island economically, ecologically and socially sustainable”, said Ferrer, “it’s a brand of sustainability that’s grounded in quality of life—and not just for residents, but also with regard to the experience of our visitors”. “Since the very start, formentera.eco has been about keeping Formentera special; maintaining what sets us apart from other destinations; preserving our sense of tranquility; making sure that people can continue to enjoy the island today and for generations to come”.

formentera.eco 2020
For his part, mobility councillor Rafael González indicated that the ceiling on vehicles will likely be lowered by 4% in 2020. Last year the official limit was 22,382, however, only 21,929 motorists were given authorisation to drive cars on the island. The official limit this year will be 21,487. The question of when regulation would be enforced was also put to attendees of the meeting. After comments were heard, participants put the issue to a vote, agreeing to reinstate enforcement from 1 July to 31 August 2020, namely, peak tourist season.

Visitors must pay €1/day for cars and 50 cents for motor-scooters (minimums—€5 for the former and €2.50 for the latter—are also established). Permission to bring a vehicle and operate it on the island can be requested in advance. Such “pre-reservations” (prereserves) can be made from March on the formentera.eco website and formalised starting in April. Authorisation is guaranteed for people who have already reserved overnight lodging or ferry tickets for vehicle passage. A specific portal will be made available for related inquiries on formentera.eco.

Highlighting “a clear path forward this legislative term for an orderly and gradual reduction of highway saturation”, Councillor González indicated that the upper limit on permitted vehicles was expected to fall by four per cent every year—or 16% in four years. Discussion also centred on upgrades ahead to public transport—part of making sure that, for islanders and tourists alike, mobility becomes increasingly sustainable.

6 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Red Cross info session at Casa del Poble in La Mola

creuroja1Red Cross of Eivissa-Formentera is teaming up with Formentera’s social welfare division to host a 6.00pm information session next Wednesday, 12 February, at Casa del Poble in La Mola. In need of local volunteers, the charitable organisation hopes to shed light on ongoing projects and encourage islanders lend a hand.

6 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera asks Madrid to consider acute isolation of islands

foto-reunio---alejandra-ferrerAlejandra Ferrer sat down today at the seat of local government with Patricia Abascal, thanking the senator for the chance to meet and taking the opportunity to impress on her the island’s principal appeals in hopes she will defend them before the central government in Madrid.

The Formentera president reiterated the importance of “a special system of funding [called the ‘Special Balearic Regime’, or REB] reflecting Formentera’s situation of triple insularity”. While discussing calls for the creation of a local magistrate’s court, the two officials also identified another imperative: bridging the gap between residents and municipal services.

Another bullet point involved developing the Sustainable Development Goals as a pathway to tackling and preventing climate change. President Ferrer highlighted the local administration’s efforts to reshape municipal housing ordinances in an effort to create a year-round stock of available-for-rent housing to protect the basic right to housing of people on Formentera.

Senator Abascal, for her part, insisted that one of her priorities was “raising awareness about the islands and the living conditions of those who call them home”, stressing “people in the Balearics have needs and our colleagues in Madrid must listen to them and do their best to understand them and look for solutions”. Abascal reasoned such particularities warranted the programming of a conference about insularity and autonomous municipalities. President Ferrer pledged she would discuss Formentera’s specific issues with the senator so they could be addressed at the event.

6 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

In 2019, spike in organics collection and improved separation behind 5% drop in new waste

photo-2020-02-06-10-35-22-1-Formentera’s environment department reports that islanders generated 5% less waste from 2018 to 2019, sending upwards of 9.5 thousand tonnes to Eivissa’s Ca na Putxa treatment plant compared to just over ten thousand the year before.

The figures mark a considerable drop, and, according to environment councillor Antonio J Sanz, can mostly be traced to two factors: “First, awareness is growing and users are getting better at separating glass, paper and cardboard. Second, the dip is commensurate to the nearly 30% spike we saw this year in organics collection”. Organics pick-up went from just shy of 541t in 2018 to over 700t a year later. Sanz tied the figures to the door-to-door recycling push which has mainly involved businesses and large-scale waste generators in Es Pujols. That service has had help from two figures assigned to provide support: ecological educators and the local environment office’s environmental advocate.

Other figures

Last year, residents of local towns generated just over 6,900t of solid waste—an 8.1% drop compared to nearly 7,510t the year prior. Paper and cardboard collection was also up 0.3% (from 955t to 958t); plastics collection rose by 19% (from 570t to 680t) and glass collection fell by 0.16t, or 2%.

Together with the numbers for recyclable materials like glass, plastics and paper/cardboard, this year’s figures for organics collection bring Formentera closer to the objectives laid out by a 2009 bill on waste and polluted soils according to which recyclables should amount to half of the total weight of waste material. Today that figure is 32.5%—four percentage points higher than last year.

The month of August experienced the highest waste collections of the year (1.6t), followed by July (1.5t) and June (1.3t). December and January were the two months when pickup was lowest (357t and 364t, respectively).

Sanz pointed out that the growth of the pickup service had been studied and that reinforcements had come in those services where operatives said it was needed to prevent bin overflow and unlawful dumping. Street cleaners were also dispatched in greater number, as were individuals responsible for emptying street-side bins in the centres of towns like La Mola and Es Pujols—part of an effort to bring the service in line with actual needs.

271 pallets in four months

The environment department reports that repurposed pallets are behind more than €1,150 in savings at the island’s rubbish drop-off point, where 271 pallets have been diverted from their normal route —chipping at Formentera’s waste treatment plant, and shipment to Eivissa— since the 18 September launch of a programme to keep pallets out of landfills.

Anyone interested in picking up extra pallets can visit the Deixalleria’s drop-off and pick-up point. Pallets must be used sensibly and may not be resold, and people are asked to comply with related environmental regulations. Burning pallets treated with paints or varnishes is expressly prohibited.

6 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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