Transforming a mountain of garbage into a green lung, among other everyday ecology practices


by Esteban Tejedor

Posted on March 17, 2021

Transforming a mountain of garbage into a green lung, among other everyday ecology practices

Bullas is a wine-producing municipality of 12,000 inhabitants in Murcia (Spain). Hills, vineyards and low houses. The scene could belong to any other peninsular municipality, but on a walk through its streets, unexpected elements emerge. A reused glass roundabout and an old oil tank converted into a bus stop. On the outskirts, there are immaculate community gardens. And at the top of a hill stands a grove that was recently a mountain of garbage.

Bullas is distinguished by a daily and very practical environmental commitment. They have been launching small initiatives for years to improve and take care of their environment, on which a large part of their economic activity depends, based on the cultivation and production of wine.

In this series of interventions, it stands out the recovery of the landfill, a pile of accumulated rubble that the local administration transformed into a small forest. Of what was only a wheel and some rubble remains, a statue as a souvenir. What used to be a black point, where nobody went, is now it is a grove to come for a walk, rest and take oxygen.

Or the regulation of the capacity of the Salto del Usero, a natural pool that constitutes the main tourist attraction, where there is also a solidarity energy bank that takes advantage of the consumption surpluses of municipal buildings -powered by solar energy- to lower the bill for residents who need it. A short walk from the centre, there are several orchards cultivated by the neighbours, whose care is rotated, a formula to revitalise neglected spaces and offer an activity to retired people.

"They are normal things for us and it seems that they do not matter. But they are not so common around here", says Pepe Gea, head of municipal services in Bullas and man-band of many of these ecological adventures. Gea highlights the management that is made of the residue of the vine, with which they embarked on a European LIFE project to give it another life through composting and prevent its burning.

Recycling with prize

In Bullas it is also recycled. For a few months, this town has joined Reciclos, a system that awards points to citizens who throw cans or plastic bottles of drinks into the yellow container. In the case of the Murcian municipality, these points are used to contribute to local social or environmental projects, such as the purchase of sanitary material (masks, hydro-alcoholic gels) or the recovery of the aforementioned landfill. In other municipalities, the rewards range from lunches and dinners in local restaurants, purchases of local products, donations to NGOs, discounts on public transport or electric bicycles. Valencia was the last city to join the system, which was already operating in Calahorra (La Rioja), Ciutadella (Menorca), the region of Pla de l’Estany (Girona) and Sant Boi de Llobregat, Igualada and Granollers (Barcelona), all those in Spain.


Source: El País

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