Next year we will be paying 70 per cent more than we were in 1996 for our household waste to be treated at the Son Reus Incinerator. The incinerator, amidst much controversy and opposition from environmentalists and the medical profession, only came in to operation in 1996 and when the Insular Council of Majorca approves the new rates next week, we will have seen a 70 per cent increase over the past five years. The new waste incineration rate will be 9.903 pesetas, eleven per cent more than the 8.914 pesetas paid by residents this year. One of the main reasons for the sharp increase is that the incinerator is treating significantly more waste than in 1996 and therefore the costs of the operation are escalating every year with the ever-growing population generating more and more household waste. Furthermore, the Insular Council will be using the extra funds to purchase more land near the incinerator in order to prepare a site for a new solid waste treatment centre. The Insular Council will be approving the 11 per cent increase based on a report produced by the incinerator management company Tirme, which also details the huge investments the company has made in the treatment plant's infrastructure, a secure waste dump, and a rubble treatment plant. Tirme has also been put in charge of running new environmental control and green belt cleaning projects on behalf of the Insular Council which has all cost money.

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