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Ponta Delgada ,  January 20, 2010

Last containers with tire liabilities in the Azores closed

By initiative of the Secretariat for the Environment and the Sea, the export of used tires began on São Miguel in June 2007. A total of 5,400 tonnes of hazardous waste liabilities have been removed from the entire archipelago since then. The tires were fragmented, containerised and sent for recycling in Mainland Portugal.

This action has allowed the removal of 3061 tonnes of used tires on São Michael, 182 tonnes on Santa Maria, 1704 tonnes on Terceira, 24 tonnes on São Jorge and 420 tonnes on Pico. As result of this initiative, Regional Director for the Environment, Frederico Cardigos, visited the island of Pico last Tuesday to watch the closing of the last container. 

“Although there were some past deficiencies in waste management in the Azorean archipelago, this is the moment when we can end with decades of environmental liabilities,” the Regional Director said, adding that we started the procedures for detection and removal of most of the waste dumped on all islands in 2002.” In addition to other types of waste, we have exported nearly 670 thousand litres of used mineral oil and we have finished the removal of tire liabilities. It was a challenging effort that counted upon the support of various governmental departments, local councils, private companies and the Azorean citizens.”

Frederick Cardigos also mentioned that “we have exported all metal, abandoned and identified waste on Santa Maria as well as on the Biosphere Islands - Corvo, Graciosa and Flores. At the present moment, we are regularly exporting waste asset for recycling at rates higher than 10 thousand tonnes per year, a value that was unthinkable until recently. Now, we have the real possibility of having the islands free from environmental liabilities of non-controlled waste.”

In addition to the different legal and operational tools, the Government of the Azores has just launched the “EcoFreguesias” (EcoVillages) programme that aims to raise the awareness of the local councils for the problem of abandoned waste, thus integrating them in the effort for their effective management.



Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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