Last year, each person in Malaga deposited 15.9 kilos of plastic, tins and cartons in the yellow recycling containers and 18.1 kilos of paper and cardboard in the blue ones, which was two kilos more than in the previous year. These figures, which increase by about ten per cent every year, make this the Andalusian province with the highest rate of recycling, twice as high as some others such as Almeria (7.7 kilos of plastics and 8.9 of paper) and considerably higher than Seville (9.4 and 10.4 respectively), according to the latest report from Ecoembes, the environmental organisation which manages domestic recycling in Spain.
There are 10,038 yellow containers and 6,843 blue ones in the 103 municipalities of Malaga province and its inhabitants recycle 36 per cent more plastic etc than the Andalusian average, which is 11.7 kilos per inhabitant per year, and 15 per cent more paper and cardboard (12.3 kilos).
"Recycling is becoming more normal nowadays, and in Spain 78 per cent of all packaging is being recovered," says Antonio López, the Ecoembes representative in Andalucía. He says that as well as people separating their rubbish at home for recycling, more companies are making the effort and so are town halls, which are obliged to provide these facilities.
In Malaga city the recycling bins are emptied by the Limasa company, while the Mancomunidad de Municipios of the western Costa del Sol Occidental covers the area from Torremolinos to Manilva and takes the items to the recycling plant in Casares. The Consorcio Provincial de Residuos, which is part of the provincial government, collects the recycling from everywhere else and transfers it to the Valsequillo environmental centre in Antequera.
Although this gives the impression that the province of Malaga is doing well in terms of recycling rubbish, if we zoom in and look at individual municipalities we can see that this mainly applies to the western Costa del Sol, and in Malaga city the figures are actually lower than average. The report issued by Ecoembes shows that every inhabitant of the city deposits 10 kilos of plastic packaging a year and 13.5 kilos of paper and cardboard.
On the other hand Fuengirola, with 29.8 and 20.1 kilos per inhabitant respectively, is much higher, as are Mijas (27.6 and 20.9), Marbella (21.1 and 20.9) and Torremolinos (25.8 and 12.7).
In the other large municipalities, the figures are similar to the provincial average.