pollution in thailand, the caribbean
Jun 28 2018

Recycling in Mallorca and the path ahead of us

 

Global Paradise Pollution

Pollution threatens paradise in the Caribbean. ‘The Beach’ is back in the news due to Pollution in Thailand. So, protecting marine areas and reducing pollution by recycling in Mallorca is critical.

Since the days of being a well kept secret, Mallorca is now becoming a hot spot for people around the globe.  Of course one of the major appeals of Mallorca is its clear blue, warm waters.  These are especially relevant to visitors and residents.  Due to increasing usage of single use plastics and the incorrect disposal of waste  that can harm our environment Mallorca could sadly be on-route to joining the list of polluted paradises.  Yet, we can all help to prevent this happening.  Whether you are a tourist or a resident.

Pollution in Thailand and the Caribbean

First of all, the epidemic is on a global scale, so we only include a small snapshot here.  Yet this snapshot says it all really.  Pollution in Thailand threatens some of its best beaches.  Thailand’s popularity soured after the movie ‘The Beach’ with that fame however came mass tourism. As a result the movie is back in the news but for all the wrong reasons.  Locations that suffer include Phuket, Koh Samui , Maya Beach is now closed to tourists .  Another, most noteworthy destination suffering is the Caribbean .

Preventing the inevitable in Mallorca

Local Government in Mallorca and associations such as ‘Asociacion Ondine‘ and yachting publications like Metstrade. are trying to tackle the problem here before it gets out of hand.  One of the most important factors here is raising awareness of this growing issue.  So we wanted to share this information with you and encourage you to share thoughts with us and our members.

A greener future

Local government is making every effort to create Marine Protected Areas and work with associations on education projects at schools and beach clean-ups.  What we want to do here is help demystify what many of us find a challenge and that is separating your waste.  What can and can’t be recycled and how ?  Spain is considered one of the most environmentally aware and prepared countries in Europe.  So we need to take advantage of the facilities and services provided.  However, it is a fact that information is not always easy to find; particularly for those that don’t speak Catalan or good Spanish.  We have communicated with local government to share some useful information with you.  We know there are still gaps in the information we have, so feel free to share more information here.

So, we start with the coloured bins on the streets in residential areas:

Light containers

  • Recycling 2 tons of plastic, we save 1 ton of oil
  • With 80 soda cans you can make a bike rim
  • With 6 brics you can make a shoe box

 

YES NO
Plastic containers Cassette tapes, VHS
Plastic bags CD, DVD and floppy disks
Brics Plastics other than containers
Cans and aerosols Toys
Trays of plastic or white cork Textiles and shoes
Metal covers and sheets Packed containers
Aluminum foil Containers of toxic products
Pots and plastic pots of domestic origin

 

Any lightweight container with this symbol

The containers deposited in the yellow container are taken to the packaging selection plant, where they are classified, pressed and packaged to be sent to recycling plants outside the island.[/vc_column][/vc_row]

Glass

Recycling a glass bottle we save:

  • The energy to charge your mobile phone for a year
  • 1 kg of CO2 contamination
  • The energy of 12 washing clothes

 

YES NO
Glass bottles Bulbs and fluorescents
Glass jars Flat glass and mirrors
Other glass containers Ceramics and porcelain

 

Yes

Any glass container with this symbol

No

Dishes, drinks and bowls

 

Deposit schedule for containers: from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The glass that is collected from the containers is stored and receives pretreatment in Mallorca, to obtain the first material, which is exported to the factories to make pots, bottles, etc.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Organic

Give life to your waste, with the organic remains you can make fertilizer for plants

 

YES NO
Remains of fruit and vegetables Diapers, cufflinks and tampons
Remains of meat and fish Remains of liquid food and all kinds of oil
Remains of bread and food in general Agranar dust and vacuum cleaner bags
Handkerchiefs and paper towels Ash and cigarette lids
Kitchen paper Remains of gardening
Coffee breaks and infusions Plant residues treated with pesticides
Woods treated
Medications
Stool and other animal remains
Fabrics and leather goods

[/vc_column_text]

Deposit schedule for containers: from  7pm to 11pm.

The remains of organic matter are transported to the composting plants of the island, where they undergo a process of transformation into fertilizer or compost, a natural fertilizer for agriculture and gardening.

Reject

It is only rejection if you can not go to another container

Rejection ends incinerated; what you put in another container, recycled.

 

YES NO
Diapers, cufflinks and tampons Glass
Ash and cigarette lids Paper and cardboard
Broken toys Light containers
Agranar dust and vacuum cleaner bags Hazardous waste

You can deposit the organic matter in the waste container in case you do not have an organic container available to you or you do not participate in this collection system.

Deposit schedule for containers: from  7pm to 11pm.

Rejection is the one that can not go to other containers. What is deposited in the gray container leads to the incineration plant with energy recovery from Son Reus.

One liter of cooking oil can contaminate 1,000 liters of water

Leave the used cooking oil, when it is cold, in closed plastic bottles (you can reuse bottles of water, soft drinks, etc.).

You will find pick-up points in neighborhood houses, sports centers, markets, the recycling truck and selective mobile collection platforms in the historic center.

 

  • Never throw oil in the washing machine or in the toilet.

It will contaminate the water and obstruct the pipes.

  • Do not mix it with motor oil

This service only includes vegetable oil.

The oil that is collected in bottles in the orange container is used for the production of biodiesel in industries outside of Mallorca.

Clothing and footwear

  • If you deposit your clothes and shoes in good condition, other people who need them can use it
  • You will extend the life of your clothes and contribute to the reintegration of people of disadvantaged groups

 

YES NO
Clothes and shoes in good condition (in closed plastic bags) Old patches
Handbags, backpacks, belts, etc. Clothes or footwear in bad shape
 Flasks and sheets

 

The clothes deposited in the containers of Càritas Mallorca and the Deixalles Foundation are collected by these entities that classify, repair and sell it for sale and for social uses.

Other waste

 

Medications

Expired medications, remnants of pharmaceutical products, any medication you no longer need and their packaging are collected at pharmacies.

Do not accumulate medications at home or mix them with other residues.

Bulbs and fluorescents

You will find collecting points in shops of electrical appliances and in some public places (neighborhood houses, markets, offices, etc.). You can also take them to  the green park and the recycling truck.

Some bulbs and some fluorescents contain toxic gases; Do not mix them with other waste or take them to the glass container.

Batteries

There are collection points in stores, supermarkets, supermarkets, public buildings,  green parks and the recycling truck.

Make sure the batteries and accumulators are properly treated; do not throw them into manure.

Sources of advice

There are gaps in this information and we are not the source of information however, we can offer some reference points and welcome any information you want to share.  So answers require further research and common sense.  Essentially though, if you are unsure it is best to consider it non-recyclable.  Here are some web links which will help you make those decisions:

Finally, here is a pint of contact who can also offer some advice or at least point you in the right direction:

Roland Bahón Menéndez

(Tècnic Ambiental)

Ajuntament de Palma

E-mail: [email protected]

Tlfo.: 971774300  Ext.: 6097

Fax:  971463908

10 Comments

  • Mallorca Yachts & Property 4th July 2018 at 12:04 pm

    We are based in Santa Catalina and it seems the organic waste bins have dissapeared. I Contacted the council about this and this is the response i got:
    “You are right. Organic bins are already installed just in the old city. So, you have to wait for the deployment of organic bins in the whole city. Then, until this arrive (it is planned to start by the end of this year until the end of 2020, progressively in the different neighbourhoods in Palma, I don’t know the exact order for this), you have to still throw organic waste in the grey bins.”
    So, it is being dealt with. I hope that helps any of you that have noticed these bins dissapear

  • A. Dee 3rd July 2019 at 4:06 am

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for your messages earlier.
    I think that sometimes, one of the sad things about people is that when they see someone taking the initiative with something, rather than get behind them & support, they just prefer to let them get on with it, as if it’s a case of, ‘Oh well, he’s doing it now so there’s no need to bother’.

    I think you were right when you said that recycling is a ‘mystery to most’ & ‘a lot of people have good intentions but either get it completely wrong or just don’t bother because they are too confused’. Also, the councils that have the info either are crap about distributing it, or the think because they’ve put it out once, that that’s enough, whereas we know it isn’t.

    With regard to some people from developing countries like the Dominican Republic, yes, it is like they are from a different world. They too need to be educated from the ground up, plus, looking at the wider context (but without getting too political), I think that many not-Western or Asian countries are kept in the dark about the the importance of ecology & recycling. If they were educated about it, then they would soon question the unethical practices of Western countries & their colluding governments that allow many of those countries to become a toxic dumping ground for the west.
    As for solutions, I think an ‘info-mercial’ in Spanish would be a good starting point.
    Whilst doing some research, I came across ‘Friends of the Earth, Spain’ – https://www.foeeurope.org/spain (Their site is in English).
    They are also linked to ‘The School of Sustainability project’ – http://foeeurope.org/school-of-sustainability
    There should be members there that are bilingual, & so could maybe help you put something together information-wise that is in Spanish & English. Also, Carmen is a graphic Designer here in London, so once you have the info, she could perhaps design something.

    It would be great to assume everyone in the developed world is educated and cares, but remember, most people are still passengers, or still have that mindset.

    Hopefully, you’ll get some more interest in your blog, as I feel that it would be a great starting point for getting some initiatives off the ground, or at least an interesting & expansive dialogue.

    Best to you

    A. Dee

  • A. Dee 3rd July 2019 at 4:09 am

    Also, maybe you could consider giving ‘Blogs’ it’s own tab on your website, in order to highlight that as a feature, as currently it seems a little buried on the site.

    A. Dee

  • Mallorca Yachts & Property 3rd July 2019 at 10:33 am

    Thank you for your input !!

    Regards adding a blogs to the menu bar, thank you for your interest ! This is an item on our roadmap and is really dependent on the level of demand from people like yourselves. Your feedback is important and certainly adds to out consideration of this matter.

  • Mallorca Yachts & Property 3rd July 2019 at 10:46 am

    regards the challenges we face with education and accessibility to information and support, thank you for the sources you have provided
    https://www.foeeurope.org/spain
    http://foeeurope.org/school-of-sustainability
    Any other readers who are aware of good sources of information, please do share them here.
    The challenge really is making recycling easy and that is far from the case. As much as it is a fantastic step forward to have; It’s no where near as simple as putting plastics, paper, food, glass, clothes and paper in their respective bins. As I said above organic waste bins have even disappeared from many parts of Palma, which I was informed was going to be resolved last year but still doesn’t seem to be the case.
    The confusion most people are left with leads either to bad habits or even putting people off from even trying. I should re-emphasise at this point I havent found a department or team you can make contact with for support / advice, best place to start for the capabilities of local facilities that I found is:
    Roland Bahón Menéndez
    Ajuntament de Palma
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Tlfo.: 971774300 Ext.: 6097
    It is possible that the level of support you will receive here is less than they would like to provide and its a big challenge for them to resolve. However, the more people who contact Roland the more reason there is for the council to invest more in education and support, if you look at the commercial case for this investment it is obvious the savings the council could make from improved habits. Outside of that it really does come down to research and information sharing.
    Thanks again for your interest, I hope more people share that interest and any helpful information / advice here.

  • Mallorca Yachts & Property 3rd July 2019 at 10:54 am

    In response to your feedback. I have made a small step forward in making the blogs section more apparent by moving it underneath the contact section. It is higher up this way, more relevant and like yourself people often make initial contact through this channel and are therefore more likely to see the section.
    I hope you like the idea and we will continue to keep improvement in mind for the future

  • A. Dee 5th July 2019 at 9:47 am

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for making the blogs section more apparent, as well as posting the info on the blog.
    I suppose it’s a bit like advertising, in that there can definitely be a demand for a product, but getting the word out to people who then turn into customers or clients is the tricky thing.

    Have you thought of speaking to Recycling Magazine? They appear to be local to you. Here’s their information…

    Transfer Station Management on the Island of Mallorca
    https://www.recycling-magazine.com/2016/07/07/transfer-station-management-on-the-island-of-mallorca/

    They even have a page on Recycling Plastic
    https://www.recycling-magazine.com/waste-plastics/

    Team & Contact
    https://www.recycling-magazine.com/contact/

    Anyway, I’m sure with some allies & a plan, your push to improve the level of recycling & its awareness will improve.

    Best to you

    A. Dee

  • Mallorca Yachts & Property 5th July 2019 at 10:22 am

    Fantastic, thanks for sharing that, this is the sort of information we need. I think you may have hit the nail on the head here. The article about the transfer of waste station management explains that this contract was awarded to ‘Tirme SA’ who are based in Palma. For anyone reading this, I won’t provide links to pages as there is so much educational content on their site https://www.tirme.com. However, for direct advice on the separation of recycling the contact page is probably the most valuable https://www.tirme.com/uk/contact_07.html
    Thanks again A. Dee great input !!

  • A. Dee 6th July 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Andrew,
    Glad to help, & it’s good that it’s proving useful.

    I think that one of the best ways forward would be for concerned locals (including those that have relocated there) to form a loose support alliance, that way, things that we’ve discussed in this blog could be actioned or explored, & then fed back to the others to be built upon for the next step. Also, getting other members of the Palma community who are not obvious allies may be another way of bringing about awareness, as this also prevents a situation where you’re preaching to the converted.

    My background is is Urban Art, so here in London as well as other places, I’ve sometimes created large-scale murals for organisations to help bring a specific message to the masses.
    I’ve heard there’s urban/street art in Palma so it may be something to think about as it could perhaps be utilised in a similar way.

    Best
    A. Dee

  • Mallorca Yachts & Property 8th July 2019 at 9:35 am

    Thank A. Dee, all fantastic ideas. I would love to be more hands-on however, I just don’t have the resources here. The best I can do right now is help raise awareness and help give you visibility. As a member, you do have the freedom to write your own blogs here as well. People with a passion like yourself are a fantastic contribution and the very reason I posted this article in the first place.

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