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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Environment

Consell incorporates new backhoe for improved separation at rubbish tip

foto 2020 backhoeThe Formentera Environment Department reports it has incorporated a new backhoe for improved separation at the island’s rubbish tip.

The €124,523 (VAT included) backhoe is equipped with a forest clamp and will allow for greater ease in operations involving earth moving, construction and demolition waste, composting and organic waste and garden trimmings fed into the Consell’s biochipper.

Environment councillor Antonio J. Sanz declared the purchase would mean “savings in the medium term”. “As a permanent feature of the municipal arsenal, the new backhoe will do away with interruptions stemming from our previous reliance on rented equipment”, said the councillor. Operators at Es Cap de Barbaria waste management centre will use the backhoe themselves.

16 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera’s desalination plant registers 20% increase in productive capacity

foto 2020 dessalinitzadora 2Alejandra Ferrer, Miquel Mir and Antonio J. Sanz visited the island’s seawater desalination plant earlier today to take stock of the remodel currently under way of the plant’s third production line. Formentera’s premiere, the Balearic environment and land minister and the local environment chief were also joined by Guillem Rosselló, managing director of the Balearic Water Agency (ABA), and secretary general Juan Calvo.

The €330,570 remodel, financed with money from the Sustainable Tourism Levy (ITS) and on track for completion in six months, will take the plant’s daily output from 2,000m3 to 2,500m3 — a 20% increase.

Installation of a 2,500m3-capacity reverse osmosis support frame and substitution of a 37.2-square-metre membrane with a 40.1-sq.m. replacement will mean that equipment in place since a 2017 remodel can acheive optimal operation, marking an improvement for energy efficiency at the facility.

President Ferrer called the additional line of production “exciting news for the island”, and stressed that the work, together with earlier optimisation of the plant’s storage capacity, would help the island respond to rising summertime demand. “It’s worth noting that the desalination plant is Formentera’s one and only source of potable fresh water”, Ferrer added.

Minister Mir, for his part, cast the upgrade as “synonymous with an increasingly secure local supply of fresh water”, and tied it to the Balearic environment and land ministry’s goal of fortifying public services in support of the water cycle.

Councillor Sanz reminded islanders that keeping chemicals, oils and hygiene-related refuse out of the sewage network was crucial to a healthy water cycle and assuring proper levels of cleanliness when water arrives at the treatment plant.

Formentera gets its drinking water from the desalination plant courtesy of ABA. The plant’s three lines of production provide desalinated water for urban areas and alleviate pressure on the island’s aquifer, which is currently overused and registering abnormally high salt levels.

Also in the offing are structural reforms of the desalination tank. ABA recently issued a €80,159 contract (VAT not included) for preparation of the plans.

Built in 2002, the €17,500m3-capacity tank holds desalinated water and supplies it to the island. Refurbishments have not been carried out since that time, and various parts of the structure have displayed signs of wear in recent months.

11 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell and Plastic Free invite Formentera to spend #adecemberwithoutplastic

cartell 2020 desembresenseplasticsThe Formentera Environment Department and Plastic Free invite islanders this December to stage plastic rubbish hunts in small groups—pick a spot, a beach, a road, an area of woods...and pick up discarded plastic. Or mark off a smaller spot on a beach and do a micro-plastics pick-up. Participants can share what they do on social media with the hashtag #adecemberwithoutplastic (#undesembresenseplàstics). Visit the Formentera Environment Department for clean-up material like rubbish bags and gloves.

3 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera introduces recycle-a-bike service at Deixalleria

foto 2020 bici deixalleriaThe Formentera Department of Environment announces the start of a service that lets islanders recycle bikes at the local household waste disposal point.

Environment councillor Antonio J. Sanz said the idea “came from seeing the vast numbers of cast-off bikes recovered by local upkeep crews”. “It’s a great way to cut waste and promote reuse. What the Consell has tried to do is clean up the materials and help islanders imagine a second life for them. Reducing waste and supporting a circular economy are our firm commitment”. Sanz highlighted celebration this week of European Waste Prevention Week, and asserted, “It’s an issue where building social awareness is fundamental”.

2019 saw the start of another educational push at the Deixalleria: a pilot project to rethink the costly process of chipping used pallets at the transfer station and shipping them to Eivissa. Five-hundred seventy pallets have been recycled, amounting to a total savings of €2,722 since the programme’s launch.

Roughly twenty bikes and fifteen pallets are are available for free delivery to anyone who registers at the Deixalleria’s drop-off point and agrees to certain terms: items may not be resold, they must be used sensibly and in keeping with local environmental regulations. It is expressly forbidden to burn pallets that are painted or treated with varnish. The Consell de Formentera reserves the right to take bikes or pallets back if terms are violated.

The Deixalleria is open 9.00am to 1.30pm Monday to Saturday and 3.30pm to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

28 November 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera hopes coastal moorage regulation scheme gets fresh impulse

foot 2020 fondejosConsell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and environment councillor Antonio J. Sanz attended a presentation of findings from the first of several capacity studies piloted by Ports IB and the Balearic Islands’ Coastal Observation and Predictions System (SOCIB). The presentation was led by regional mobility minister Marc Pons and Ports IB director Cristina Barahona and saw the video participation of SOCIB director Joaquín Tintoré and SOCIB researcher Aina García.

SOCIB and Ports IB are required to carry out such a study as part of the public agencies’ drafting of their overarching strategy, which Mr Pons described as a “balanced, sustainability-based” plan forswearing expansions and growth of Balearic harbours.

“Formentera has done much to protect our coastlines”, asserted President Ferrer, highlighting consensus around the decision to eschew expansion of La Savina port, as well as the importance of finding a place for regular islanders, tourism and the environment. “We want residents to enjoy the harbour too”, she said, stressing the primacy of “quality” and of “avoiding the kind of massive projects our visitors have historically deplored”, not to mention the environment: “The strategy must also offer safeguards for posidonia in particular and our entire coastline in general.”

Mooring on Formentera
Efforts to establish a system of controlled moorage along local shores dates back to 2008. Ferrer described hopes that the management plan for Ses Salines nature reserve would provide “an impulse to approval of the regulated moorage plan”. The plan, which envisioned space for 883 watercraft, was first presented to the Govern balear in 2017.

Ferrer described the capacity study presented by the Govern today as “similar to our initial proposal, but with capacity for 925 boats”. She pointed out that the Balearic study was based exclusively on physical space, while Formentera’s initial study sought to measure the island’s “physical, environmental and scenic capacity”.

“We’re aware of just how unique our current situation is”, said Ferrer, insisting, “We want to make it clear to the Balearic government, as we have in the past, that what Formentera won’t support is economic recovery in the name of destruction and large-scale projects”. “Economic recovery must include protection of our natural resources, because they are our main economic asset”, she concluded.

13 November 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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