Staff Reporter

PALMA
A total of 168'757 kilos of rubbish was collected during the Winter from 226 bays and beaches on the islands as part of the Balearic Beach Quality Plan carried out by the Balearic Ministry for the Environment.

Ministry sources said during a press conference yesterday that the cleaning campaign lasted five months and cost 600'000 euros, financed jointly by the Balearic Ministries for the Environment and Tourism.

Jose Maria Aguilo, director of the campaign, explained that, of the total rubbish collected, 62'902 kilos were wood; another 57'415 kilos was packaging; and the other 48'438 kilos consisted of various types organic and inorganic waste.

A total of 97.7 kilometres of beach belonging to 37 towns were cleaned.
Of these, 48.54 kilometres were on Majorca; 10.48 kilometres were on Minorca; and 38.66 kilometres were on Ibiza and Formentera.
Thirteen teams, each consisting of four people, participated in the cleaning work, making a total of 52 men and women.
Seven of these teams operated on Majorca, two on Minorca and the other four on Ibiza and Formentera.
They had a small “pick up” truck each, which allowed them to collect heavy items. Each team cleaned 4.5 kilometres daily.
Aguilo said that during the campaign no fuels or oils were collected, and he deduced from this that during the Winter, Balearics beaches are not subjected to boats tipping this kind of waste.

As for the dead remains of big animals, such as stranded whales, Aguilo said that their collection depended on the councils and, in the few cases where they did appear, they were taken away by the appropriate council.

With regard to the monthly quantity of rubbish collected, the director said that the months of December and April, when most rain fell, were those in which the teams had more work to do due to the rubbish brought to the beaches by the swollen torrentes.

Ventura Blach, director general of Environmental and Coastal Quality, said that the campaign had been a total success and that it will continue until the end of the high season.

Blach also explained that during the Summer months, the cleaning of the beaches is the responsibility of the councils and not the Ministry for the Environment, which only cleans the water round the coast in Summer, using a total of 40 adapted boats. Of these, 23 clean the sea near the coast and 17 clean further out to sea.

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