Palma.—Ecologist group Friends of the Earth believe that the Council of Majorca's proposal that waste material could be brought into Majorca from other parts of Europe for incineration is unacceptable and yesterday urged Central Government to reject the idea.

Friends of the Earth claimed that every year more than 600'000 tonnes of urban waste are generated in Majorca. Of this total, 400'000 tonnes are incinerated.

Majorca's incinerator at Son Reus was built to handle 700'000 tonnes a year and Friends of the Earth say that any policy of increasing the volume of waste disposal would simply mean further contamination.

To increase the volume which the government could permit to be handled at Son Reus, a modification to existing law would have to be made under an emergency measure.

Friends of the Earth also condemned further increase in taxes on organic waste, saying that the move would be unfair to municipalities which had managed to recycle 70 percent of their urban waste.

The ecologists said that the Council of Majorca's proposal to import waste for burning fails to follow European Union recommendations of reduction of rubbish volume and recycling.

The Balearic government is apparently considering importing waste from Italy and Great Britain after Germany had stopped importing waste material from the South of Italy because radioactive material had been detected in some mixed loads.

According to Alodia Perez, the head of Natural Resources of Friends of the Earth: “once again, the government is putting private economic interests before the general interest.” “Instead of modifying a private contract with a large company, the government - both Central and regional - is attempting to change state law. “This could affect not just the Majorcan and Balearic environment but also damage the image and economy of the island, one of the most sought-after holiday destinations for the visiting community,” said Perez, pointing to the fact that the island would lose competitivity as a result.

She also voiced fears that if this measure were to go ahead “it would open the door for other giant incinerators in other regions of the country to follow suit.” Friends of the Earth is urging Central Government's Congress to reject the proposal, thus proving Spain's commitment to the reduction of urban and industrial waste, recycling and the careful use of natural resoruces as urged by the European Community in Brussels.