Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Separate to save

Apparently, on average, we Pinoseros - the population of Pinoso - produce 500 kilos of rubbish each year. Of that just 28 kilos is recycled.

Rubbish collection isn't done on an individual basis as in the UK. Instead there are big rubbish bins placed at strategic positions in the villages, towns, cities and throughout the countryside. Individual householders have to carry their household rubbish to the bins. Collection in the towns is usually every night whilst in Culebrón collection is twice per week.

There are recycling bins too. Generally it's green for glass, blue for paper and cardboard and yellow for containers. There isn't discrimination within those three categories so the empty shampoo bottles, the tetrapaks and pop cans all go in the yellow container. Green, blue, clear and brown glass all go in the green container.

I'm told that people have jobs separating the different classes of waste but any time I've ever talked to Spaniards about this the majority firmly believe that it's all a big con and that all the rubbish destined for recycling is just dumped in the landfills or incinerated along with the rest because it simply doesn't make economic sense to separate the individual items.

Anyway just before the summer proper got underway big posters went up all over Pinoso "We have a plan" "Separate to save" The thrust of the campaign was that we could keep the rates down by recycling more.

One part of the plan was to provide households with bags colour coded to the different containers for home use. I tried to get some when the plan was launched but the office was closed whenever we were in Pinoso. When we came back for summer I tried again but they had run out of supplies. Yesterday I finally got hold of a set.

We've always used a couple of big rubber buckets to keep our recyclable stuff in but the new bags are much smarter if significantly smaller.

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