Staff Reporter

PALMA
CATI Julve, head of the Council of Majorca's environment department, announced that an increase of 26 percent in the charge for collecting rubbish is planned for next year
This proposal will be included in the agenda for the next meeting of the Council, which will take place in October.
It contrasts radically with the words of the President of the Council, Francina Armengol, who in her speech laying down the programme for this term of office said that on the matter of rubbish, and cooperation with town councils “the final objective should be to bring down the cost of rubbish collection for citizens, a fact which means that we will be more efficient in our policies of collection, recycling and reuse of rubbish.” Julve, for her part, commented, “managing the environment is not free”.
The reasons used to justify this huge increase in the charges for rubbish collection, according to the technical report which proposed it, centre around the errors committed by the Council of Majorca when they were evaluating the amount of builders' rubble arriving at Son Reus.

It was calculated that “cleaning” the rubble would lead to 96'000 tons which could be burned in the incinerator, but the actual amount turned out to be just 17'000 tons. This discrepancy meant a cost of 6.2 million euros which the Council has not recovered.

Another error which generated a deficit of one million euros is the price of the electricity which is generated in Son Reus. It was expected that the price would be 0.069 euros per kilowatt generated but, in reality, GESA paid just 0.057 euros per kilowatt.

The two last points that the Council of Majorca's report uses to justify the rise in price which citizens have to pay for rubbish collection centre around the rental of sites from Palma council to store the remains produced by the incinerator, which come to 600'000 euros, and the cost of the improvements introduced in recycling.

The Council of Majorca's proposed increase will be passed on to town and village councils, and it will be reflected in the bills paid by residents, a move which is expected to give rise to widespread protests.

During the previous legislature, all the opposition groups -- who are now in power -- systematically rejected proposed increases in the cost of rubbish disposal.

Julve was reported to be concerned about the political impact of the decision to raise charges, and she was even more concerned on the effect it would have on family budgets.