THE Council of Majorca is planning to enlarge the incinerator at Son Reus. It is a long-term process, but the groundwork is now being laid.
This involves modifying the master plan for rubbish disposal, which has legally prevented the enlargement of the incinerator.
The Council's director for rubbish disposal issues, Guillem Riera, acknowledges that the process will be a long one but he hopes that the law can be officially modified by the beginning of the new year. Riera claimed the Council has no alternative but to modify the master plan, as its guidelines have not been met. The environmentally driven law, passed by the previous coalition government, banned the installation of any more incineration facilities, but had miscalculated the amount of rubbish which would be generated. Socialist optimism on “limiting” rubbish production was recognised as an impossibility when it was acknowledged that the ceiling of 470'000 tonnes they had stipulated for 2004, was “left in the dust” when last year alone 513'000 tonnes of rubbish passed through the gates of Son Reus. These statistics are tantamount to saying that last year, 10 percent more rubbish was collected on Majorca than the figure forecast for the end of 2004. The current, unmodified statute stipulates that a third of total rubbish production, can be dealt with through recycling and selective packaging. Riera explained that this is yet another target that hasn't been met. In 2002, selective rubbish collection (separating glass, plastic, and cardboard) was undertaken with the aim of recycling 34'000 tonnes. This figure represents only 6.6% of the total, a benchmark very far removed from the 33% originally envisaged by the then head of Environment, Margalida Rosselló. The same plan had set a maximum ceiling of 23'500 tonnes to be left at the EMAYA tip at Son Reus. The reality remained that in 2002, a total of 179'000 tonnes of rubbish ended up in there, 35 percent of Majorca's rubbish production. Riera claimed that these figures were evidence that his predecessors had passed the incineration extension law under a very optimistic premise. In fact, the statute had, he said, very little to do with the reality of rubbish accumulation and disposal in the Balearic Islands. He further ventured to comment that the Council is not keen on simply increasing the availability of container space to cope with mounting rubbish levels. It is felt that this is the solution that is the least environmentally friendly. Extra container space, he felt, should be kept for emergencies only. For the Council, there is only one sensible option, and that is to put an end to the problem of year on year increasing mounds of rubbish by enlarging the incineration facilities at Son Reus.

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