Palma.—The row over the importation of waste from mainland Spain and eventually other parts of Europe to Majorca to be treated at the Son Reus incinerator erupted yesterday when the first shipment of waste arrived by ferry from Sabadell on the mainland.

Environmental group GOB staged a protest outside the docks claiming that the operation poses a serious threat to public health.
GOB, along with Greenpeace, have been opposed to the incinerator at Son Reus ever since it was built.
However, since then , the incinerator has been doubled in size and the Council of Majorca, which owns the incinerator, and Tirme, the company which has the concession to run the plant, want to see it running at maximum capacity and, in order to do that, waste needs to be imported during the Autumn and Winter .

GOB claims to have hard scientific evidence that the closer people live to an incinerator, the greater the chance of them suffering from a fatal form of cancer.

GOB maintains that the Council of Majorca's decision to go ahead with the scheme “is a threat to public health. “The Council of Majorca is putting people's health at risk for private interests,” GOB spokesperson Margalida Ramis said yesterday.
Jaume Bonet, the spokesperson for Pensioners and the Retired in Majorca echoed GOB's concern pointing out that the investigation into the relation between incinerators and cancer was neither carried out by GOB nor Greenpeace but by the Carlos III Institute which comes under the umbrella of the Ministry for the Economy in Madrid - the Spanish government.

Ramis also accused the Council of Majorca of having failed to act with transparency. “We've been asking for proper information for months but we've received nothing from the administration,” she said.
She went on to say that there is something very suspicious about the way in which the Council of Majorca has managed to have obtained legal permission to import waste considering that the contract with Tirme should have been modified in order to allow such a practice to be carried out.

However, Tirme yesterday clearly stated that the treatment of the waste at Son Reus neither poses a threat to the environment nor public health and stressed that the whole procedure is being monitored by the Balearic University's environmental faculty.

Sources for Tirme said that the company has no concerns nor fears and repeated that this is not the first time such waste has been imported for treatment in Majorca from Sabadell, although before it was taken to the Cemex plant in Lloseta. Furthermore, the source said that yesterday's shipment of 140 tons by lorry and ferry was carried out without any problems and according to plan.

By early afternoon, a large part of the waste had already been incinerated but that is not going to be the end of the argument with opposition parties wanting answers and explanations from the government and Mayor of Palma.


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