The Town Hall of Tenerife signs the largest contract in its history to develop waste management on the Island for the next 15 years with the main objective of drastically reducing the disposal of unrecycled garbage by burying it in the dumping cells. It does so with the Temporary Union of Companies (UTE) formed by Fomentos de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) and Urbaser, for a total value of 397,475,058 euros. The award was signed yesterday by the insular president, Peter Martin, and the representatives of the UTE in a setting that demonstrates the importance of the act: the Noble Hall of the Insular Palace. On the one hand, Martín, accompanied by the Minister for Sustainable Development and the Fight against Climate Change, Javier Rodríguez Medina. On the other, Carlos Pérez (Urbaser) and Jorge Payet (FCC). The agreement takes effect from Friday, July 1.
«The objective is to recycle to stop throwing away and discarding without any control»
Pedro Martín values ”a decisive step that will favor the circular economy and will rigorously comply with all the indications of the European Union”. The new waste management contract for the Island of Tenerife will be in force until 2037, with the possibility of extending it for four more years. Martín adds that “this step, which opens the way for the execution of the new contract as of this Friday, becomes the launching pad for the Island to move towards a more sustainable model in waste management.”
The Cabildo is also working on «the Tenerife Environmental Complex, located in Arico, is a leading place in job creation», assures Pedro Martin. “The current legislation on waste must be applied in detail, and additional measures are needed for key sectors,” says the president, adding: “We must decisively open up to the waste industry.”
“It starts on Friday and will change the paradigm in waste management”
The socialist politician recalls some of the actions carried out in the current mandate, such as the removal of the 8,004 tons of out-of-use tires that accumulated throughout the CAT, which had a cost of 2.1 million euros. Likewise, he underlines that “we have taken advantage of the pandemic to invest there in two of the facilities that were in the worst condition.” In this regard, he points out “that of the packaging, which needed a significant investment, and the reconversion of the biostabilized plant, almost in ruins and one of the subjects that we had pending.”
The island councilor for Sustainable Development and the Fight against Climate Change, Javier Rodríguez Medina, indicates that in this new contract “investments are planned both in the Tenerife Environmental Complex and in the different transfer plants to modernize the facilities, always with the aim to improve yields and increase recovery percentages. Rodríguez Medina foresees an amount of almost 52 million euros to be executed in the first years of the contract for the expansion and improvement of island waste treatment infrastructures. In the same way, the new concessionaire is required to recover at least 42% of the plastics; steel, 51%; 50% of the aluminum; brick, 38%; 20% of the glass; paper and cardboard, 18% and the remains of electrical and electronic equipment (RAEE), 37%, the latter included in the domestic waste chapter.
“We are excited because it encourages reducing the tons that reach the landfill”
On behalf of the UTE, Carlos Pérez, Director of Treatment at Urbaser, pointed out that “we approach this contract with great enthusiasm, because it is aligned with circular economy policies and encourages the concessionaire to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.”
Jorge Payet, general director of FCC Environment, points out that this contract for the firm he represents represents “a new challenge in the face of an important and demanding framework that is European and Spanish.” He affirms that “we will comply to meet the challenges that mark us administratively and provide a completely sustainable service for the Island.”
“A new challenge within a demanding framework such as Spain, with Europe in the background”
More than a year of the agreement
You have to go back in time until Tuesday, March 23, 2021. That day, more than 15 months ago, the Governing Council of the Island Council of Tenerife approved the award to the joint venture formed by Urbaser and FCC Environment for the management of waste on the Island for 15 years. It obtained the highest overall score of the contracting table in a bidding contest started in April 2019, which was also attended by two other joint ventures: Cespa Gestión de Residuos SA-Martínez Cano Canarias SA and Valoriza Servicios Medioambientales SA-Syocsa Inarsa SA. Firms of both temporary unions presented two appeals to the process, which has delayed it until now.
- The investment seeks to end 30 years of throwing garbage into the landfill cells without recycling
In February of this year, the Cabildo obtains a free pass to launch the contract for the management of waste on the Island, since the Administrative Court of Public Contracts of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands decides to dismiss the two appeals filed by Valoriza Syocsa Inarsa and CESPA Martínez Cano against the resolution of the concession of March 2021.
- Next Friday, July 1, the contract comes into force
President Martín valued. “With these resolutions, the brake on the execution of a very important contract for the Island is put to an end.” The Court decided to dismiss the claims and agree with the contracting table. Minister Rodríguez Medina stresses that with this award, moreover, “an unfavorable administrative situation ends, since a contract expired since 2015 was extended.”
The object of the new contract establishes the correct management of the waste generated on the island, through the current and future planned infrastructures, “through the transfer, transport and exploitation of said decentralized infrastructures, as well as those existing in the Environmental Complex of Tenerife (CAT)». This main benefit will include maintenance, repair and replacement operations for all installations, machinery, mobile fleet and other elements, present and future. The contract includes the execution of expansion works and improvements to existing infrastructures for the management, treatment and recovery of waste. Both those of the CAT based on urbanization and general services, as well as those of the Logistics Centers of La Guancha (CL-1), La Orotava (CL-2), Arona (CL-3), and El Rosario (CL-4). ).
- FCC and Urbaser form the powerful Temporary Union of Companies (UTE)
The contract also includes the disposal cell of Animal By-products Not Intended for Human Consumption (SANDACH), “while the moratorium on the declaration of the remote area promulgated by the Government of the Canary Islands remains in force.” As long as “the Cabildo determines it, in view of the existence of managers that guarantee its treatment in accordance with the regulations.” In the same way, the agreement establishes the maintenance of the Polígono de Industrias Gestoras de Residuos. It is located next to the facilities of the E-Waste waste treatment company in the space occupied by the eight tons of tires removed from the Arico CAT.
“Who pollutes, pays”
The new state Law on Waste and Contaminated Soil for a circular economy, of April 8, 2022, opens a new perspective regarding waste management, since it imposes fees on those producers who do not separate or treat them at source before to transfer them to the Environmental Complex. Heed this idea to the principle of “who pollutes, pays”. It is indicated by the counselor Rodríguez Medina. This new regulatory text establishes two rate brackets. Thus, those who dump untreated material will be taxed 40 euros per tonne, while those who process their waste will only have to pay 30 euros per tonne. The Law indicates that in the next three years the municipalities must establish new rates for the generation of collection, transport and treatment operations, which include maintenance and surveillance after the closure of landfills. The Cabildo works to facilitate and open the way to a new waste management model in which “a transformation” is pursued. Current legislation must be applied in detail. Additional measures are needed in key sectors such as textiles, plastics, packaging and electronics. The first steps are already consolidated in the Arico CAT: the WEEE recovery plants, the plastic film plant, the packaging and biostabilized plants, as well as the clean points and their maintenance. “This new horizon forces us to comply with the separation processes before reaching the landfills to alleviate the burden of waste that is buried,” says the counselor. The objective is to reach an ideal horizon of a circular economy, through which waste becomes new resources. The new garbage and waste hierarchy leaves the traditional cell dumping system last and least desirable. | jdm