Rubbish problem aggravated by number of visitors

The municipality of Escorca attracts a lot of visitors, drawn by the beauty of Lluc monastery and La Calobra. But the rising number of visitors has only aggravated the rubbish problem, so much so that the council has been forced to draw up a special plan. It has applied to the Council of Majorca for funding and this year up to 160'000 euros will be spent on cleaning up the area. The bulk of the aid, 112'000 euros, will be used to clean the accesses to Lluc monastery and the surrounding area. Mayor of Escorca Antonio Gómez said that the money would be used to contract a company specialising in clearing rubbish and one person will be contracted full time. A blitz will be made at Ca's Amitger, near the camp site. A ‘green park' (bottle, paper and plastic banks) has been set up by the car park, but all too often rubbish is just dumped there indiscriminately. A total of 13'300 euros will be spent on this area. Gómez justified the need for such measures by the amount of rubbish generated by the many visitors to the area all year round. Gómez said “contrary to what many people think, the fact that the area is a tourist centre does not mean that the municipal coffers receive a lot of money.” He complained that the council had to offer many services which it could not really afford. Gómez said that 32'400 euros would be spent on improving the ‘green parks' at Sa Calobra and Cala Tuent. He added that the areas would blend in with their surroundings and would not have an impact on the environment. Escorca is unlike most municipalities on the island. It has the smallest population, which is scattered throughout the municipality, and most of its territory is protected for its environmental value. But it suffers pressure from tourism, as Lluc monastery alone attracts more than one million visitors a year. The council coffers cannot cover the costs generated by tourism, and so it is unable to tackle the rubbish problem on its own because of lack of funds.

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