Formentera ups recycling by 5.2% in one year

foto-rp-reciclatge premsa-1-The Formentera Council's environment office reports that last year 29 per cent of the rubbish which turned up at es Cap de Barbaria's waste treatment plant was recycled, equivalent to a 5.2 per cent year-on-year increase (in 2017 the figure was 23.7 per cent). That was the message CiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera drove home today during an 11.00am press conference in the Sala d'Actes.

Aguilera described the uptick as gradual—islanders recycled 22.8 per cent of their waste in 2016—and pinned it on an upgraded municipal collection, unflagging investment in green education and the efforts of the island's medium- and large-scale waste generators.

Door-to-door pick-up
Among the upgrades Aguilera alluded to is door-to-door collection of organic waste at 140 local businesses. The establishments accounted for 527.4 tonnes of organic waste during the central months of summer 2018—five per cent of the recycled total. The councillor called the service's roll-out “a key part of the increase” and thanked businesses for pitching in. Aguilera expressed hope that 2019, the service's second year, would see continued progress.

Councillor Aguilera also underscored a 15.2-per-cent spike in plastics collection between 2017 and 2018. She interpreted the change as fruit of “door-to-door pick-up at businesses in the nature preserve, free-of-charge wheeled bins for local businesses and an equipment upgrade funded by Ecoembes that makes it easier—particularly for employees at restaurants and supermarkets—to empty yellow bins”.

Department specialist Javier Asensio highlighted the recycling outreach being done at island schools—for instance the Be Blue/Trasmapi-backed trial roll-out of plastics-collection machines. From September to December that push netted sixteen thousand recycled plastics.

Glass and cardboard
Glass waste is still the most frequently recycled and represents the heaviest of what is picked up. Of all the solid waste shipped to Formentera's transfer station from urban areas, glass made up for 9.4 per cent (997.4 tonnes) while paper and cardboard came in at 9 per cent (955.35). This figure is in large part due to door-to-door pick-up at businesses considered large-scale generators of waste.

More oversize waste recycled
Recycling of large objects has grown year after year as well—13 per cent since 2017 and 74 per cent since 2015. The category includes furniture, mattresses, pallets, old boats and other plus-size discarded objects. Such objects are either taken to the processing point, the Deixalleria, by the municipal home collection service for furniture and home appliances (telephone 900 102 65), or individual islanders or businesses can drop such material off directly at the es Cap de Barbaria transfer station.

Costs and returns
Aguilera expressed her satisfaction at the reduction of waste heading for landfills since 2017—the total shrank by 8.6 per cent in one year—a change which meant savings of €95,042.

The councillor said that normal and oversize rubbish at Ca Na Putxa tip on Eivissa weighed 7,510 tonnes and cost the Council €1.3 million in 2018. The administration pays €141 per tonne to ship such waste, and another €31/tonne to process it at the tip, or €172 total. Waste pick-up and the Deixalleria's operating costs must also be factored in, which in one year accounts for nearly €1.6 million.

Aguilera pointed up the returns stemming from material pick-up for integrated management systems. The administration got €161,364 for the plastics, paper and cardboard received by Ecoembes and €49,714 for glass that went to Ecovidrio, putting total returns in 2018 at €211,078, a sum that can be invested back into pick-up of recyclable glass, paper and plastics. The councillor thanked islanders for their efforts, and highlighted the financial—“and especially environmental”—benefits to recycling.