Go green

A THIRD of all landfill sites in Portugal, which deal with domestic rubbish, are 80 per cent full because waste continues to be sent to them instead of recycled, according to data revealed by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA).

Of the 34 landfill sites that were working in 2007, 11 had almost reached their capacity to receive rubbish, with one in Guimarães in the north of Portugal having been closed because it was filled to capacity.

Only one of the landfill sites, in Avis, also in the north of Portugal, still had 90 per cent of its capacity available.

According to environmental association Quercus, around 40 per cent of domestic rubbish is organic matter, with much of the waste not being separated, despite its possible uses for compost and recycling.

“The statistics show that we are producing too much rubbish and recycling very little of what we produce,” said the President of Quercus, Hélder Spínola.

However, the secretary of the environment, Humberto Rosa, said that the domestic rubbish landfill sites are not at breaking point and gave assurances that Portugal will achieve the EU goals to reduce waste.

“In every case where the capacity of the landfill sites is close to being full, there is a project to increase the site or create an alternative such as organic and mechanic treatment plants. We do not know of any case where there will be an imminent rupture,” he said.

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