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  • Introduction
  •  This study was carried out in 2000 in collaboration with the "Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona."

    Authors:  Irene Estaún and Pere Sala.

  • Present situation and justification for the project
  • The management of waste is one of the more important topics to adapt the functioning of cities and their development to the definition of the model for sustainable development.

    The effect or impact of this management has direct repercussions on the quality of life and, even more importantly, on the conservation of resources and natural areas.

    On Ibiza, as a much visited tourist area, these problems are greatly aggravated by the huge influx of visitors at certain times of the year, greatly outnumbering the residential population. The rubbish generated by this seasonal influx can, in tourist areas, reach a tonnage 10 times the amount normally produced by the residential population.

    Ibiza has sustained huge growth in recent years and furthermore this growth has occurred without any form of planning, i.e. massive construction or essential services.
    The resulting increase in refuse has been dealt with by improvisation leading to the depositing of waste in a totally uncontrolled manner in rubbish dumps.

    The other factor that makes the finding of a solution to the problem considerably more complicated is the lack of suitable areas for the sitting of a rubbish dump, a problem accentuated in Ibiza due to it being a highly calcareous region.

    As an area where land has a very high value, due to it being a very limited resource, it is therefore very difficult to find adequate sites within the municipalities.

    The rubbish collection services in tourist zones have to be differently organized to collections in urban areas because both their characteristics and their way of life are very different. Another important point is the cleaning system for the beaches and the coastline.


    The present system of rubbish disposal on Ibiza is not carried out on a "whole-island" basis but rather each municipality deals with its own rubbish disposal usually indirectly, i.e. the municipality sub-contracts companies responsible for collection and subsequent disposal.

    This system has resulted in the setting-up of numerous rubbish dumps lacking proper administration and with deficient sanitary regulation. Also the municipalities have no idea as to the exact quantity of rubbish generated within their boundaries or its composition. According to figures supplied by HERBUSA, in 1996, a total of 77.000 Tn of solid urban waste was collected although these figures cannot be considered definitive due to the number of uncontrolled rubbish dumps, particularly in the north of the island.

    Each municipality is responsible for its own refuse management including the separate selective collection of different types of rubbish. HERBUSA estimates that the selective collection for the island for 1996 is a follows:

    400 Tn Glass 0,51% of the total
    350 Tn Paper/Cardboard 0,45% of the total
    1.200 Tn Metal/Scrap iron 1,5% of the total


    The main impact resulting from the present treatment of refuse is to be found in the rubbish dumps which are the final destination of the refuse.

    Therefore it would be an advantage to evaluate the location of the dump paying attention to the permeability of the ground and geological stability of the area.

    On the other hand the rubbish dump lacks the infrastructure which guarantees the control and security of the refuse. Neither the quality nor the quantity of the refuse is controlled; there is no infrastructure to collect rainfall thus avoiding contact with the refuse and the consequent production of highly contaminated water. Neither is there any drainage system to collect water which falls within the precincts of the dump in order to maximize the run-off and avoid infiltration of the refuse, nor is there any deposit for the collection of this run-off.

    The dump does not dispose of a drainage system which would permit the collection of lixiums thus making these potentially highly conterminous.

    The dump also has no safety device for the control of gas to avoid its uncontrolled dispersal.

    At present it is intended to site a new rubbish dump on top of the one in use at the moment. This option will be carefully studied in this project.


    Under the term "refuse" we understand any substance or object which has degenerative qualities or has the tendency or obligation to degenerate.

    For the correct disposal of refuse it is necessary to consider the different types of refuse:

    Solid urban waste
    Industrial waste
    Dangerous waste
    Agricultural and foliage waste
    Construction debris

    The management policy for the disposal of refuse consists in moving from what is essentially one of containment to one of prevention. That is to say that instead of resolving a problem it is necessary to evade, as far as possible, the existence of the problem in the first place. The order of priority would be:

    (1) Minimize the refuse (both in quantity and quality)
    The best method for minimizing refuse lies in the re-cycling of containers and receptacles and in the reduction of the use of unnecessary packaging (disposable products.)

    (2) Re-cycling
    The concept of recycling includes all operations by which refuse is re-used either totally or partially. Basically the systems for re-cycling waste are:

    Re-using: using a waste product as a final product in its original state for the same or a different use.

    Re-cycling: using a waste product in an analogous process of production.

    Regeneration: re-cycling operation by means of which a waste product is reduced to its original characteristics in either a complete or partial manner and which permits its re-use in the same state which it had before its degeneration.

    Recuperation: a re-cycling operation by means of which the basic components are extracted from the refuse.
    Energetic assessment: using the heat producing capacity of the waste when this can be assimilated as a combustible and the environmental balance is favorable.

    (3) The correct disposal of "residual" waste:
    Finally the disposal of residual material: the waste that cannot be re-cycled has to be organized with regard to its intrinsic characteristics.

    It is also important to mention the co-operation of the public: without this co-operation the integral management of waste material cannot succeed, this is a slow process which the municipalities must initiate as soon as possible.
    The environmental problem is principally one of attitude. As a consequence the environmental education of the population is essential.

    The results of the project will be published in the form of a memorandum which will include the following sections:

    Objectives, method, evidence, area of activity, etc...

    Present situation
    - Legal basis for the management of waste products
    - Territorial characteristics
    - Evolution of waste product and its management
    - Evaluation of the system of collection
    - Infrastructure
    - System of collection
    - Type of refuse
    - Selective collection
    - Evaluation of the final treatment of refuse:
    - Treatment of municipal refuse
    - Present state of the rubbish dump
    - Environmental impact that would result from the proposed sitting of the new dump on top of the one presently in use
    - Proposals for management
    - Principal objectives to be reached in the integral management of the refuse
    - Proposals for the management of each specific collection of refuse
    - Proposals regarding systems for the final treatment of waste material
    - Proposals for a new infrastructure or for the improvement of the present one
    - The need for a plan for Environmental Education
    - Indications of sustainability
    - Conclusions

    This study should be complemented by an Environmental Campaign on waste products directed at the resident population. Also special attention on this point should be given to that section of the population described as "floating".


  • Objective of the project
  • The main objective of the project is to know exactly the volume and quantity of refuse generated on the island, in this way it will be possible to define a type of environmental management with parameters of sustainability.

    The main problem as far as the management of refuse is concerned is the seasonal increase in the volume of waste.

    The basis of reference used to establish the objectives of this project is basically the Directive 94/62/CE regarding containers, cans, tins ... and their remains.

    The main priorities are to be reached before the year 2001.

    - Valorize container waste on a level of between 50% and 65%, an objective that includes a recycling of around 25% to 45% of weight.

    - Guarantee that at least 15% of the weight of the material used in the production of containers can be re-cycled.

    - Establishment of systems (public, private or mixed) for the selective collection of containers.

    - Reduce the concentration of lead/cadmium/mercury and chrome in the composition of materials from which containers are produced.


  • Downloads

  • Conclusions (in Spanish)

    Diario de Ibiza (Article nº1 in Spanish)

  • The Sponsors

  • Foundation Environment Vs Pollution


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