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Media Newspaper library Environment Beachside recycling translates into 25% increase in plastics collection

Beachside recycling translates into 25% increase in plastics collection

papereres novesIncreases to the rates of recyclable waste collection significantly surpassed increases in normal waste collection in 2014. The curve expressing paper, glass and plastic collection displayed sharper growth than the population curve itself, while increases in normal rubbish collection trailed below. Plastic recycling was the undisputed leader in growth, for it displayed positive increases of 25% compared to 2013 figures.

In terms of standard waste collection –the rubbish tossed by Formenterencs that ends up in the local tip– , the year 2014 saw the generation of 7,215 tonnes compared to 6,841 tonnes the year before – equivalent to an increase of 5.47 percent. During this same period the local population grew by 7.5% (on 1 January 2014 the Institut Nacional d'Estadística registered 11,548 residents; one year later this number had grown to 12,423). Some adjustments are of course necessary for an especially busy summer season, one whose May-through-September occupancy rates were 80.45% compared to 78.10% twelve months earlier.

Curiously, the month in 2014 that logged the most deflated standard waste collection was February (253 tonnes). Comparisons made with the month of August -when at 1,192 tonnes the figure was at a yearlong high- reveal growth by a factor of nearly five.


Collection of recyclable plastics reached 305.96 tonnes in 2014, 25% percent more than in 2013 (244 tonnes). These figures were at their highest in summer -July, August and September had monthly collection totals of some 45 tonnes- and bottomed out again in February, during which time plastic collection was at a meagre seven tonnes. This put recyclable plastic collection six and a half times higher in the peak of the high season than in the trough of the low season. Recycling taking place at beaches -zones where high levels of packaged- and canned-good consumption occurs- is one potential explanation for the impressive figures. Here we must recall the change that switched out normal rubbish wastebins for more inclusive recycling bins and simultaneously placed these directly at points of entry and exit to Formentera beaches. The move was immensely successful, all the more so because for the majority of Formentera beachgoers –who often hail from urban environments– recycling is already an acquired habit.

In 2014 recyclable paper and class collection were up by between eight and a half and nine percent – 846 tonnes of paper and cardboard were rounded up compared to 778 tonnes the year before. The crescent-and-trough trend is repeated here as well, with August as the highest-generating month for paper and cardboard (129 tonnes) and February being the lowest (29 tonnes). Growth in recyclable glass collection came in at 8.5 percent, meaning that the 760 tonnes collected in 2013 became 823 tonnes the year after. For glass, the lowest-generating month was January (27 tonnes) and the highest-generating were August and September (151 tonnes each).

Electric appliances and slaughterhouse

Electric appliances make up a percentage of the standard or separately-collected rubbish each year. For the period between 2013 and 2014 this indicator rose from 103.6 to 167 tonnes – a 62% increase. Hopes are high that with the soon-to-be-opened rubbish tip these figures will improve even more. The local slaughterhouse generated 5.34 tonnes of waste in 2014, relatively unchanged from its 2013 level (5.76 tonnes).


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