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Talking good disposal habits: environment canvasser to raise awareness among business owners and residents

Foto RP Campanya gestio residusThe Formentera Council has announced details behind its summer push for good rubbish disposal habits. Under the tagline “The island's image is in everyone's hands”, the campaign was described today in press conference by CiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera and a clutch of other stakeholders on the campaign, including the person tasked with leading street-level outreach, Begoña Jiménez. Joining Aguilera  and Jiménez were two representatives from Ferrovial Servicios, the concession-holding company for waste collection in the Balearics. Eduardo Azcona, head of the company's Balearic division, and Silvia Carcelero, head of services on Formentera, sat alongside Podarcis president Dani Ramón, whose company is charged with designing the campaign.

The upshot of the campaign, says Councillor Aguilera, is about “connecting with locals and raising awareness”. With that in mind, the Council has hired an outreach ambassador on a six-month contract to go door-to-door talking to Formentera business owners about good rubbish disposal practises. She will also assure a presence near street-side bins. There, her duties will include explaining rules and new procedures to residents and sussing out possible service shortfalls. The Council and Ferrovial will use the information to improve collection and determine necessary courses of action, which could range from increased monitoring and fining to service changes.

Clean-up day
One of the first efforts associated with the 2016 campaign will be an undersea clean-up push on the morning of Saturday May 21. The initiative has received the support of dive centres and underwater activity companies alike. Participants, Aguilera explained, will join forces in day-long cleaning efforts at Punta Pedrera, Es Caló de s'Oli and Espalmador, in an effort to “get our seabed as clean as possible for the start of summer”. Clean-up crews will meet at 9.00am in front of the Formentera Mar tower in la Savina. Anyone interested in volunteering should call 971321210 or send an email to infoambiental@conselldeformentera.cat.

The environment office has also published a brochure, posters and decals with tips about which rubbish goes where. The CiF canvasser will hand out the material at strategic points on the island, like sites where illegal dumping infractions have spiked. The newly modified municipal anti-dumping ordinance imposes three scales of fines, €150-€900, €900-€45,000 and €45,000-€1,750,000, depending on whether the violation is deemed minor, serious or very serious.

The brochure also features a QR code which allows residents to complete a survey about local waste collection and make suggestions regarding service improvements. Last year, more than eight thousand tonnes of rubbish —consisting of 24 per cent recyclable material— was collected on the island. Launched today, “The island's image is in everyone's hands” is aimed at pushing Formentera recycling rates even higher.

Expanded service for municipal buses

Pujada busThe Formentera Council's Office of Transport has reported on new expanded service for the buses run by Autocares Paya S.L., the contract-holder for Formentera's bus service. Yesterday was the first day of service for two lines: 5, which links La Savina, Sant Francesc and Cala Saona, and 7, connecting Es Copinar and Ses Illetes. Service on line 1, which links La Savina port and Es Pujols, has been similarly expanded. That line will run from 7.30am to 9.30pm, with one bus per hour. Line 2 goes from La Savina port to La Mola. Buses on that line leave every two hours from 8.15am to 10.00pm.

Transport councillor Rafael González welcomed the service changes. He said they would mean “clear benefits for tourists and islanders alike” and called them “a step toward sustainable transport”. González indicated Autocares Paya's intent to continue expanding service until June 16, at which point they plan to be at 100%. Line 1 will get an additional morning and evening stop and line 2 will have buses that pass every hour. Line 5 will also receive expanded afternoon service. Councillor González also noted that Formentera's tourist bus, el Bus Turístic, has been operative since April 15. That route connects La Savina port, Ses Illetes, Es Pujols, el Mirador and La Mola lighthouse. There are currently four passages per day, but that will increase to 10. For more information, check out busformentera.com.

Schoolchildren on Formentera get a lesson in recycling

Foto campanya pilesToday on the island, the non-profit group Ecopilas led collections of used batteries at three primary schools. The idea of the campaign was to impress upon children the importance of recycling what amount to hazardous materials. Ecopilas' president José Pérez also seized on the opportunity to familiarise the students with battery disposal bins. He said the goal was to see proper disposal of batteries increase on the island.

CiF councillors Daisee Aguilera of the environment office and Jordi Vidal of sports were both on hand when kids at Mestre Lluís Andreu primary school had their session. Councillor Aguilera drove home the importance of pushing for environmental awareness from a young age, a value she said was also apparent in past beach cleaning campaigns which received help from schools.

The Ecopilas foundation is a sponsor of the Formentera Half Marathon. Tomorrow, they are asking runners to bring their used batteries to the race. Councillor Vidal thanked the foundation for its support of the marathon and reminded residents that the school battery collections were part of Esport és +, an ongoing initiative to promote the positive values inherent in sports.

Social welfare staff take a walk in seniors' shoes

Foto vestit edat avancadaThe Formentera Council Office of Social Welfare has scheduled a number of day-long training sessions for elderly-care staff of the department and of the Formentera Day Centre to enhance the workers' ability to empathise with their clients' daily reality. CiF councillor of social welfare Vanessa Parellada visited the centre, where the sessions will be held, to describe details of the initiative.

The training began yesterday and continues through today in the form of theory- and practise-based classes, during which the workers will have the opportunity to don a suit that limits their perception of sight, sound, touch and motion, putting them – explained the CiF councillor – “in the shoes of someone between 70 and 85 years old.” Parellada called the classes “a great opportunity for our own staff to better understand the situation faced by our island's elderly” and hoped the experience improved the service workers are able to give.

The course, which was held for the first time this February in Menorca, was led by Stephan Biel, a specialist in social gerontology. The idea for the advanced age simulating suit came from Volkswagen. The German automaker developed the suits in an effort to make its manufacturing process more suitable for ageing workers. Use of the suits has since caught on among elderly-care organisations as a training tool for staff. Organisation of the training sessions cost the Formentera Council 1,500 euros.

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