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Despite huge improvements in recycling, Ibiza continues to fall short of minimum recycling targets

Home / News / Despite huge improvements in recycling, Ibiza continues to fall short of minimum recycling targets
Home / News / Despite huge improvements in recycling, Ibiza continues to fall short of minimum recycling targets
Despite huge improvements in recycling, Ibiza continues to fall short of minimum recycling targets

On the World Day of Recycling, the Ibiza Sustainability Observatory emphasises the need to continue to improve in terms of waste prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Ibiza, 17-05-22 – In 2021, the percentage of waste selectively collected for recycling in Ibiza reached 27.55% (27,422.62t) of total domestic waste, the highest proportion recorded so far, but still far from the minimum value stipulated by the Balearic Law on Waste and Contaminated Soils. This law, which takes into account the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on waste reduction established by the United Nations, set as a target for 2021 that 50% of each waste fraction (paper, metal, glass, plastic and bio-waste) should be recycled, increasing to 65% by 2030.

This means that the island of Ibiza is currently only halfway to achieving the most recent target, according to data analysed for the annual sustainability report of IbizaPreservation’s Sustainability Observatory. Previously, the highest percentage was in 2019, when with 20.33% of waste was selectively collected.  The enormous progress made in 2021 was due almost entirely to the implementation of the collection of organic matter by means of specific containers in several municipalities and the start-up of the corresponding area for its treatment in the Ca Na Putxa recycling plant.

At municipal level, Sant Josep generated the highest percentage of selective waste collection in 2021, 7,935.9t or 32.71% of the total domestic waste. It is followed by Santa Eulària with 27.84 % (7,380.4t), Eivissa with 26.05 % (7,418.2t) and Sant Antoni with 24.95 % (3,892.2t). The municipality of Sant Joan came last, with only 16.93 % (795.8t).

“The implementation of the environmental area of Ca Na Putxa is a milestone for Ibiza in terms of waste management; the ability to treat organic matter and convert it into energy and compost was essential,” commented Itziar Arratibel, technical coordinator of the Observatory.

The municipalities of Sant Joan and Santa Eulària have not yet implemented the selective collection of organic matter, despite the fact that according to the Balearic Waste Law, municipal entities had until 11 May 2021 to do so. In this sense, Arratibel stressed “that the impact the organic collection generates in reducing what ends up going to landfill is very significant. Therefore the selective collection of organic matter must be implemented throughout the island without delay.”

At the same time, the Observatory highlighted the fact that the seasonal nature of the island’s economic model and the greater human pressure experienced during the high season have a significant impact on waste generation. During 2021, 72% of glass sent for recycling entered the Ibiza transfer station during the months of May to October. During the same period, paper collection reached 63% and packaging 61.13%.

It should be noted that 2021 is the first year in which selective collection of organic waste was carried out throughout the entire year, and the data show that the entry of this type of waste at Ca Na Putxa in the summer season accounted for 83.71% of the annual total.

“On one hand, it is good news that the island now has the capacity to manage organic waste, but it should also make us reflect on the enormous amount of waste we generate, especially during the season,” stressed Inma Saranova, director of IbizaPreservation, which this year has been working to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste.

Furthermore, during 2021, the municipal data for mass waste (that which is deposited in the grey bin) increased by 3.8% with respect to 2020, an increase that was to be expected due to the reduction of Covid restrictions and greater human pressure on the island. Despite this, the values are still below 2019, a year in which mass waste by municipality reached 95,624.86t, 24.57 % more than in 2021 (72,127.36t).

The Ibiza Sustainability Observatory will continue to analyse the data for 2022 and beyond to assess the prevailing trends in waste generation and collection. “It is necessary for administrations and organisations to continue working to reduce the generation of waste through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse activities,” said Saranova, who advocated prevention, adding “the best waste is that which is not generated.”