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Consell and Govern back integrated environmental authorisation for Es Ca Marí substation

The Formentera Department of Environment reports that members of the regional environment committee, or CBMA, voted yesterday in plenary to grant integrated environmental authorisation to the Es Ca Marí plant. Local environment chief Antonio J Sanz pointed out that the move, which was backed by Consell de Formentera, establishes corrective strategies —on waste treatment, for example, or measures tackling vibrations, noise and gas emissions— to “put the plant on the right side of technical and environmental issues so installation of the third cable can proceed”.

And, the area around the power plant must be equipped with four fixed measuring stations to take sound readings to ensure it stays within an appropriate range morning, afternoon and night.

The changes must be applied before the plant incorporates generators to supply the power required for the substation. Today’s approval puts the power plant on stable administrative footing as well.

Conseller Sanz applauded “the CBMA, the energy and climate change division of the Balearic government and our administration work in recent months” and presaged “a swift and much-anticipated end to the troubles of area residents”.

4 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Ground campaign to stamp out pine processionary concludes with removal of 4,641 nests

campanya-processiona--ria-20201The Formentera Department of Environment reports that the effort to control numbers of the pine processionary caterpillar on the island resulted in the removal of nearly five thousand of the pest’s nests. The February campaign, which came with a €4,436 price-tag, was carried out jointly by the regional department of healthy forests and the Balearic Nature Institute, or Ibanat. The ground treatment lasted 17 days and saw forest crews covering over 132 kilometres in areas like Es Ca Marí, Es Carnatge, Punta Prima, Es Cap, Cala en Baster, Ses Bardetes, Camí vell de la Mola, Sant Ferran and Migjorn. The nests were incinerated at the treatment plant.

3 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera gets water fountain for outdoor events

gabrielet1The Formentera Department of Environment has acquired a drinking fountain to be set up at outdoor public events. Islanders got their first chance to use it at Sunday’s Carnaval parade, and it will be used again at the Women’s Run [Cursa de la Dona] on 8 March. Outside of events such as these, the fountain will be available for users of the Antoni Blanc sport and fitness centre, helping reduce single-use plastics. Purchase of the €5,186 machine is part of the ‘Plastic-free Consell de Formentera’ initiative, enacted by councilmembers last year and expected to see roughly thirty water fountains installed across local government facilities. Currently in tender, the service will also include assessment of high traffic areas to help determine placement.

27 February 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Some 1,500 caterpillar nests removed in first week of push to tackle pine processionary

foto-2-campanya-processiona--rThe Formentera Department of Environment is one week in to a new campaign to curb the local spread of the pine processionary caterpillar. Scheduled to conclude next Thursday, the effort, which has seen the administration partner with Ibanat and the Balearic healthy forests division, has involved the contracting of a specialist forestry firm to remove caterpillar nests and send them to the treatment plant for controlled burning. Nearly 1,500 nests have been removed in the seven days since the €4,436 initiative was activated.

Operations have so far centred on Es Ca Marí, Es Carnatge, Punta Prima, Es Cap, Cala en Baster and Migjorn, and have been made possible by additional help from islanders, who can report nests found on the island by using the pinpoint tracking feature of the Línea Verde app, phoning the environment office at 971.32.12.10, or sending the office an email at mediambient@conselldeformentera.cat.

Islanders and hunters pitch in, too
Environment councillor Antonio J Sanz applauded everyday islanders for “finding and reporting nests so that they can be removed”, and highlighted the “seriousness of the pest’s exponential propagation in recent years”. Sanz called on affected landowners to join in the effort to stem the caterpillar’s spread across island trees. Article 9 of legislation passed on 20 November 2002 to protect plant health requires islanders whose property includes areas of forest affected by the caterpillar to keep trees healthy.

Sanz also highlighted efforts this January that saw local hunters firing off more than one thousand shells in the space of a weekend in order to get rid of nests.

The campaign is carried out in coordination with the Balearic Ministry of Environment and is part of a plan launched in October to tackle the plague. A helicopter was used during early stages of the effort to complete aerial dustings of Bacillus thuringiensis over affected areas.

13 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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