Recycling on Tenerife

Wed, July 27th, 2011 - By Linda

Like lots of us, you may have good environmental habits at home but are mystified as to how to keep them up when you’re on holiday in Tenerife.

Truth is recycling is easy here these days. Back in the UK, my dad has to place his waste paper at his gate on the appointed day where it lies, usually sodden, until the collectors call. Here you’ll find recycling containers at frequent intervals in all the major resorts as well as on the main beaches.

In south Tenerife, in the Arona resorts (Los Cristianos, Costa del Silencio and part of Playa de las Americas) you will find containers next to the rubbish bins, which makes it really easy. The containers’ shapes vary according to municipality, but the colour scheme is always the same. Blue is for paper, that’s paper which hasn’t been contaminated by food or laminated, which is your newspapers and magazines, cornflakes cartons or other supermarket packaging made from paper, etc.

After you’ve enjoyed your Spanish beers or Canarian wines then the bottles go into the green containers, regardless of colour of glass. Lastly, heaps of other stuff goes into the yellow bins. They are designated for other types of packaging such as food and drink, cans (whether aluminium or steel), milk/wine/juice cartons, toothpaste tubes, aerosols, plastic water/cola/pop bottles. What we do is bundle all these up into a plastic bag and pop them in together. They are sorted when they get to PIRS in Arico, the recycling sorting site. What goes for Arona goes also for San Miguel (Golf del Sur, Amarilla Golf). In Granadilla de Abona’s resort of El Médano you can also recycle your used cooking oil. The bin is grey/orange and the oil should be bottled.

You may find that in the Adeje resorts it’s slightly different, that includes Costa Adeje, part of Playa de las Americas, Callao Salvaje, where you will find the recycling bins may not be part of the general rubbish disposal area, but stand alone. The colours, however, remain the same, as they do in Los Gigantes or Playa San Juan.

In recent years Tenerife has become very conscious of the need to recycle as much as possible. It’s a small island with hard, volcanic terrain, which doesn’t easily facilitate landfill. In addition to the rubbish already placed in recycle bins, 25% of the normal rubbish is also recycled. I visited PIRS a few weeks back and their commitment is refreshing. Don’t listen to people who tell you that there is no recycling facility on Tenerife. Fact is, there isn’t, but it is sorted and packaged and sent to Gran Canaria or mainland Spain for the actual process of being made reusable.

In rural areas like the Teide National Park you will find bins with the same colour coding, but if you find yourself in an area where there are none, please bag your rubbish and take it with you until you find containers.

Those of us who live here, generally, are in love with the varied and beautiful landscapes the island has to offer and are proud of the immaculate beaches of the tourist resorts.  We’d like you to see them at their best, so it would be nice to keep them that way.

Posted : Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 at 10:43 am
Category : towns & resorts
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