In addition to the obvious difficulties of an island in managing waste disposal, tourism swells Mallorcas one million population to over ten million every year. Each occupied hotel bed generates 1.5 kilos of waste per day (compared with11.4 kilo per inhabitant per year). With the spread of junk food, not only waistlines are expanding; it is estimated that 25% of food goes to waste. And fast food outlets produce more paper and plastic waste than traditional restaurants.
Selective collection systems operate in over 60 municipalities in Mallorca, based on container collection. In addition there is a 6-days a week door-to-door household refuse collection which is not yet selective. Containers are generally available for organic, plastic and glass. A high percentage of Mallorcan homes separate the different waste materials: 77% paper and cardboard, 76 % glass, 72 % batteries.
Palma also has composting containers and this is spreading to other municipalities. Many also provide enormous sacks for garden material, collected on an agreed date from the householder by a lorry mounted crane. Town Councils also run centres where householders can take unwanted articles or provide a collection service for heavier items.
Existing waste treatment facilities include five transfer stations in Calviā, Alcúdia, Binissalem, Manacor, Campos, distributing to three sewerage-sludge composting plants, in Ariany, Calviā, Felanitx and Sa Pobla, in addition to the composting plant at Can Canut in the Environmental Technologies Park operated by Tirme.S.A.
Construction and demolition products, of which there are many on an island where
the building sector is its second largest industry, bulky materials, and end-of-life
tyres are dealt with in eight centres Inca, Santa Margalida, Artā, Manacor,
Porreres, Llucmajor, Calviā These are organised by Mac Insular SA from its
headquarters in Ses Veles Bunyola, which is also the site of the business
park for companies whose principal activity is waste recycling.