Formentera collects 527.4 tonnes of organic waste during five-month trial run

foto materia organica 1At the close of a pilot programme for organic waste pickup that ran from May 15 to mid October, the Formentera Council's environment office reports that 170 participating businesses generated 527.4 tonnes of waste.

Environment secretary Daisee Aguilera applauded the collaboration in 2018 of the local medium- and large-quantity waste generators who joined the effort. "It's the first time a pickup service of this kind is available across the entire island", said Aguilera, "and thanks to the commitment of participating businesses, we ended up with 127 more tonnes than originally forecasted".

Two collection routes were established this year to serve the island's medium- and large-scale waste generators. Businesses also had an environmental advisory agent and three patrol staff from the administration's environment department.

A new life as compost

The push is part of the waste management plan currently under review on the island. The goal? To cut the cost of shipping waste to Eivissa's Ca Na Putxa landfill. Europe has made extending the useful lifespan of products a top priority. The Council's work in the current initiative involves turning organic waste into a boon for Formentera's countryside.

The nearly 530 tonnes of organic waste were harnessed to make 1,700 cubic metres of compost using a "pile method" in which organic waste is mixed with shredded garden trimmings and then left to mature during a roughly eight-month process. The plan's engineers say the compost will be given to the local farmers' cooperative to add nutrients to soil and improve crop yield.

Data from the pilot programme will be used to study adding organic waste collection to the future waste management contract, due to take effect in 2020.