PALMA THE island of Majorca, is the first region anywhere in the world which has as a stated objective to establish a “zero waste” policy by the year 2010 - all urban rubbish will either be converted into new energy sources or incinerated.

The project outlined in more detail yesterday by the Waste Management department of the Council of Majorca is based on selective collection of all unwanted material around the island, and anything that does not fall into any of the categories for recycling will be incinerated. “We shall burn unuseable rubbish but we won't let it pile up into an ugly mountain, which has been the case until now,” said director Guillem Riera. In order to achieve their goal, the Council has agreed to an extension of the incineration plant of Son Reus which is already under construction. The Council has also planned the closure - by the end of this month - of the tip currently adjacent to Son Reus which is run by the drainage and rubbish collection company, Emaya.

However, until the new incinerator facilities are ready, Riera confirmed that it will occasionally be necessary to use tip facilities for which the Council of Majorca has opened new installations alongside the old one. The new tip has been described as an “emergency” site where rubbish disposal will be “transitory” whilst the construction works on the incinerator extension are completed. Riera said the development was “going well.” Emaya will be managing the new 60'000 square metre tip which is less than a third the size of the old one - 200'000 square metres and 35 metres high, which is currently undergoing a process of having accumulated gas removed. The area may later be converted to a public park.