Talking A Load Of Old Rubbish!

At last, it looks like we’ll be getting rid of a load of old rubbish!
More than 60 residents of Vale da Telha and the surrounding areas attended a
meeting on June 4 th to discuss a Green Waste Initiative called by Amovate and the
Aljezur Câmara at Hugo’s Bar at the Pines Roundabout.
The representatives of the various bodies there to explain the initiative comprised:
Câmara: Antonio Carvalho and Dulce Patricio (Engineer), Junta President
Henrique Henriques, Sargento Pedro Borges, commander of the GNR and Carlos
Juncal from Algar, the privately-run environment, waste disposal and re-cycling
company contracted by the Câmara.
Amovate was represented by Matt D’Arcy, Ian Bedford, Steve Scott, Dave Ogborn,
Steve Baker, Renata Ramos, Marion Verling and Kjell Motet.
The meeting lasted 90 minutes which included a question and answer session that
followed the presentation of proposals by the Câmara. During this, it was revealed
that the population of the entire Aljezur Municipality from Odeceixe to Carrapatera,
standing at around 5,500 at the last census, increases fourfold during the peak
tourist months of July, August and September!
The numbers of tourists have been going up at a rate of 20% over the last two or
three years. This not only emphasises the growing popularity of the area, it also
highlights the difficulties of dealing with the extra waste generated by this large
number of visitors.
A number of points were raised, debated and explained. Here, Amovate administrator
Steve Scott, who took notes at the meeting, explains the major points raised and
discussed.
1) The person cutting any greenery or trees is the responsible person on that
piece of land. If this waste is found on council land then the Câmara become
responsible. If it is deposited on another piece of private land then the owner of
that land becomes responsible. This appears to be unfair but is so. Most green
waste is deposited by rubbish bins throughout VdT. This sometimes takes longer
to clear by the Câmara due to availability of resources. All of the above reflects the
current situation.

2) The initiative of the Câmara is to utilise a piece of the land by the Algar sewage
plant in Vales. This would involve building a ramp for vehicles to drive up on and
then with a large container on either side allow the depositing of any green waste.
Area available 1,000 sqm. This would be a fenced-in area, controlled both in
opening times and usage of. The plan is for this site to be available in September /
October of this year. There would be no additional cost to VdT property owners for
the project, or the use of, once functioning. This applies not only to owners but
businesses also. Fines could be applied for not conforming once found out but
the Câmara would prefer people to conform.
3) Until this initiative is up and running there is no other alternative but to follow
current methods. The Câmara have no large containers to place in strategic places
in VdT for green waste.
4) It was stated that with building rubble they were still trying to find a long term
solution. A question was asked if an area adjacent to the green waste could be
used. This would require further discussion with Algar, as it is not council land.
5) For household large items and appliances the Câmara will supply a telephone
number within the water bill. On using this number the Câmara will collect items
from the owner’s house. The item has to be left outside for them to collect.
6) The current area for recycling or other waste is within the industrial estate in
Rogil. This is open between the hours of 8.00 am until 4.00pm Mondays to Fridays.
Currently any rubbish taken to Rogil has to be paid for and then the question was
raised whether it could be free for VdT users. This required further discussion
between the Câmara and Algar.
7) A question was raised on depositing car batteries and engine oil. Car batteries
can go to Algar but engine oil has only one place designated for disposal, which is
in Lagos. The mention of several deposits for oil in Aljezur area refers to cooking
oils only.
8) Abandoned Cars: This point about eyesores had already been raised by the
Amovate with details of where some of these vehicles are located. This
information can be passed onto the GNR who in turn can supply names wherever
possible. From this information the Câmara can write to the owner requesting
them to remove the vehicle within one month. If this is not complied with, the
Câmara can take the vehicle but then have to keep it for 3 months. Thereafter they
can either sell or scrap the vehicle. The difficulty arises when the vehicle is on private land. An alternative is to give the vehicle to the Bombeiros who would use
the vehicle in training their personnel. The vehicle would then become their
responsibility about what subsequently happens to it.
9) Communication: Any notifications that the Câmara wishes to pass on to the
community can be done via the monthly water bill which every household gets or
via the post boxes or by email, which means every household should be kept
apprised of what is happening at any given time.
10) It was stated that Algar do invest highly in new recycling bins, some of which
are already available in VdT. In addition Amovate had already previously indicated
where some required re-positioning. Algar were also increasing their collections.
From the 15th of June until October collections will be daily. It was also stated that
if anybody notices any bin that is full then notification should be sent to the
Câmarageral@cm-aljezur.pt
The situation requires monitoring in the summer season when tourists arrive in
large numbers, to see if there are sufficient bins available whether they be
household or recycling.
11) The Câmara advised that a machine would be arriving in the week following
this meeting to clear the campsite of all the green waste that they had deposited
there.
12) A request was made for a further public meeting, stressing this should take
place prior to the opening of the green waste area in Vales.
CONCLUSION:
This was a first public meeting with the Câmara with a new President and his
team. Antonio Carvalho representing the Câmara along with engineer Dulce
Patricio professionally presented their initiative for green waste, aided by Carlos
Juncal from Algar.
Matt D´Arcy the Amovate President assisted in translation when required and
made a strong point relating to Amovate and our foreseeable bi-monthly meetings
with the Câmara.
He said any non members should reconsider their position, and join their
community association to give a bigger voice to our causes in improving VdT and
surrounding areas. This is a step by step process but as shown by this meeting, the Câmara do want to talk and work with Amovate to the benefit of Vale da Telha
and the surrounding areas up the hill from the town.
It could be seen that from the reaction of everybody present that this first step in
dealing with the subject of waste was welcomed and accepted by all parties
present and with everyone concerned looking forward with a positive outlook.
After the meeting it was explained that a visit to the recycling plant in Lagos could
be arranged if enough interest was shown. This could cover 2 parties of 25.
In addition, the President of the Junta Henrique Henriques wants to meet the
Amovate committee, which we arranged for Friday the 8th of June at 3.30pm.

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