THE Palma city council has received a gold medal from the Federation of Independent Users and Consumers (FUCI), for its attention to selective collection of rubbish. The award marks five consecutive years of winning the coveted green flag-sustainable city award. In announcing the awards, FUCI said that six out of every 10 Spaniards separate their rubbish, putting paper and cardboard, plastics and glass, into the specially provided containers. Research undertaken by the Federation reveals that those who fail to selectively recycle their waste, chiefly cite the excuse of municipal rubbish tips being too far from their homes. Central government Environment Minister, Elvira Rodríguez, and head of Health and Consumer Affairs, Ana Pastor, presented the awards in Madrid.
Green flags went to the Madrid districts of Collado Villalba, Navacerrada and Colmenarejo; the Alicante localities of Finistrat and Benissa; Castrol Urdiales (Cantabria); El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona); San Roque (Cádiz); Espartinas (Sevilla) and San Bartolomé (Lanzarote). Following five years of renewing their “green flag” merit, the town councils of Palma, as well as Albacete; Badía de Vallés (Barcelona); Caldas de Reis (Pontevedra); Lorca (Murcia); Ponferrad (León); Torredolones (Madrid and Zarauz (Guipúzcoa) all received a gold-star mention at the award ceremony. According to the research carried out by the Consumer Federation, household waste recycling varied according to how selectively the rubbish was gathered; 72% of citizens declared they kept glass separate from other waste; 64% kept paper and cardboard to one side; and 40% recycled light packaging in the form of food cartons and plastic containers. Fifty-four percent of householders said that they didn't selectively recycle their waste because the recycling bins were simply too far from where they lived; nearly 29% claimed they didn't have enough room in their homes to stockpile selective waste; 13% said they had difficulty in identifying what items should go into which recycling container; and 6% said they couldn't be sure it was all worth the effort. Sixty-two percent believed that they didn't have enough information to correctly separate household waste for recyling; nearly 26 percent didn't know what was meant by “green point” labelling: a logo which proves that the manufacturers of the wrapping or food container contributes to funding a waste recovery and recycling scheme; and 42.3% didn't know what was meant by a “clean point”: a place where unclassified rubbish that doesn't fall into any specific container category, can be dumped for recycling.

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