A few days after the weed killing along the roadsides of urbanizations on the Sant Lluis coast, the effects of the product used are evident where dry and blackened grass has been left. It confirms that a herbicide product was used from Cap d’en Font to Binibèquer Nou .
GOB estimates that they have sprayed weed killer along some 7 kms of sidewalks adjacent to houses. The treatment has not gone as far as the eastern area from Cala Torret, where the contrast with the island greenery at this time of year that still exists can be seen. (See attached photos.)
Knowing that there is the alternative of using mechanical methods of controlling weeds coming up along unsurfaced sidewalks, GOB has written to the Sant Lluis Town Council to ask that products that cause toxicity in the environment be avoided.
Furthermore, the Council was reminded that there were Prescribed Technical Specifications that conditioned the award of the municipality’s road maintenance service. It was tendered last year, was awarded in March this year, and provides that if chemical control methods are used, they have to be organic, biodegradable herbicides, allowed in ecological agriculture.
In any case, it should be borne in mind that there is a state regulation for the framework of the use of phytosanitary products in non-agrarian environments. To this end, it provides that in areas used by the public in general, whoever is in charge of the application must adopt measures to prevent the product being accessible by third parties both when the treatment is executed as well as during the period of security established by each product.
The regulations also say that the treatments should be made during the hours when the presence of third parties is unlikely unless a marked barrier is established warning the public that access is prohibited to the area in question.
Sidewalks are in urbanizations inhabited all year round and spraying in October, without any previous warning or signs, in places where people circulate, and at a time where there are still many tourists, does not seem to align with the current legislation.
Nor does it seem that they have taken into consideration any means of protection for the workers, who ought to have protection masks for chemicals and should be in possession of a handler’s licence for products of this type.
Taking into account Menorca`s character as a Reserve of the Biosphere and given that chemical weed killing damages the landscape as well as considering the possible negative effects on the health of people and animals, GOB requests the Sant Lluis Town Hall to use mechanical controls, to make a maximum reduction of chemical methods, and, in any case, to put up warning signs in advance.