Tag Archives: Waste & sewage

Discharge of sewage water in Cap d’en Font

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The presence of sewage water along the coast of Sant Lluis  led to finding a fixed installation for a discharge into the public domain. GOB documented the case and made a formal complaint to Costas and the Department of the Environment.

Cap d’en Font has a series of large chalets with enormous lawns in their gardens. For that reason, the area was chosen by GOB to show the large consumption of water taken for gardening, as part of the framework for their excursions made last year in their campaign Menorca In-SOS-tenible.

Some of the people on this excursion saw, in an open area close to one of the large chalets, an area covered by shrubs and weeds, filled with sewage water and told GOB. An inspection led to finding a pipe hidden in the vegetation, from where the discharge came.

Comments from the neighbours suggested that they had noticed, on other occasions, rocks with coloured waters and suspicious smells. It pointed to a habitual practice of the emptying of a septic tank belonging to a chalet, which, they also said, had a lot of summer tourist activity despite not having a tourist rental permit.

Cap d’en Font is one of the urbanizations that does not have a sewage system. The owner of each establishment is responsible for contracting someone to empty their septic tank when it is full.

GOB estimates that the garden attached to the discovered “facility” must use about 1000 litres of water daily just for maintaining the lawn in the summer. This is 90,000 litres, minimum, during the tourist season.

For that reason alone, these chalets should be, already, the object of systematic inspections. This is particularly so since there is a means for discharging sewage water into a public domain, including an area where people swim, which aggravates the situation even more.

A formal complaint has been registered with the Balearic Government Ministry of Sea (that assumed the responsibility of coastal surveillance since July) and with the Environmental Agencies.

S’Estany de Mongofra and the problem of microplastics

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GOB organised a clean up of the coast along s’Estany de Mongofra that took place on Sunday 23 July. The topography and the enclosed coves of this unique area make it particularly prone to the accumulation of waste brought in by the sea.

The fifty volunteers that came to help were distributed to various points already identified around s’Estany. In total, they collected 83 kilos of waste, mostly plastics. The presence of microplastics in the area, with muddy or pebble beaches, made them difficult to collect, so that they could only be collected manually picking up each one by one.

It was a day of intense heat so that the mid-morning snacks, with Land Stewardship Scheme farm products, above all the melons and watermelons, helped rehydration and to give strength to continue with the task.

At the end of the day, the different types of waste were separated. This time, the remains of broken plastics made up the main part of the waste, weighing 29 kg, followed by bulky plastic waste, 23 kg, and in third place were the ropes weighing 17 kg. What is surprising is the large number of stoppers that can be found, on this occasion 3.5 kilograms that took up a volume of 30 litres.

Since 2015, GOB has organised various clean up days at the same point and something interesting has been observed that, with the passing of time, the smallest plastics (microplastics, mesoplastics and others) have been replacing the larger objects that used to represent the most common waste. These small waste objects are nothing more than the result of plastic degradation, which, as we all know, is not biodegradable so that it breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces that end up in the trophic chain and become ingested by humans.

We are grateful to all the volunteers that took part on this day and we encourage everyone to take advantage of their beach days and collect the plastic waste they are sure to find in the sand.

This event was supported by the Island Governing Council and the Menorca Preservation Fund.

For photographs, please look here

Pupils from two schools will continue analysing the sand in Son Bou and Algaiarens

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For the third year running, two schools will analyse the sand from two beaches in Menorca to determine the presence of micro and mesoplastics.

Thanks to the support of the Sa Nostra Caixa de Balears Foundation and Bankia, through their call for Environmental and Sustainable Development, with the three sections of GOB in Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza, continuity has been given to the citizen science project that started in Menorca in 2021.

Microplastic Watchers is a citizens science marine project integrated with the Observadores del Mar platform, that collects data on the presence and quantity of micro and mesoplastics in the sand of the beach, in order to work on the diagnosis and make aware of this global problem. Taking advantage of the location, a series of activities are carried out focussed on showing the participants the natural values of the coastal ecosystems and the problems that are found with them.

This year, the Primary School, Margalida Florit, in Ciutadella will be in charge of analysing the sand at Algaiarens in la Vall, and the Primary School Verge del Carme of Maó will work on the beach of Son Bou, to the south of the Island.

From the start of the project in January 2021, samples of sand have been collected and analysed each month as we published in July 2022.

Looking at the collected data, interesting information can be drawn. For example, on the Son Bou beach, on the conservative side, the data indicates that there could be more than a million and a half plastics (micro and mesoplastics) and that on the Algaiarens beach we found an average of 171 fragments per square metre.

Therefore, the samples analysed on this course will help to give accurate information on the degree of contamination from plastics that our beaches suffer. At the same time, we hope the activity will help the pupils as well as their families to understand more about the coastal ecosystems and raise awareness on the huge problem of plastic waste in the marine environment.

35 groups participate along the coastline in “Clean Up The Med”

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A total of 35 groups in Menorca, with 273 people, came together in May for the European Days of “Clean Up The Med”. The goal was to find and collect microplastics, which are so difficult to single out. Even so, some groups collected more than 46 kg of waste that was found in their adopted section with a total of 245 kg jointly in one day. Continue reading 35 groups participate along the coastline in “Clean Up The Med”