When we came to view properties on the island, with a view to finding a rural home to buy, the rather important matter of rubbish disposal didn’t occur to me. Sub-consciously, I must have assumed there’d be something similar to the service we had back in the UK, where, once a week (until it became fortnightly), the refuse disposal operatives – or whatever PC-term had been coined at the time – came to remove the rubbish from the wheelie bin, which we dutifully placed outside our gates on collection day. (It was our job though to retrieve the empty bin, which had a habit of rolling down the hill because somehow it was always left with its wheels perfectly aligned for downward motion).
A smelly car companion
Where we live, we are our own refuse disposal operatives: taking the black bag full of our rubbish to the nearest communal bin (a ten-kilometre drive away) is something we do at least once a week and, if we remember, a little more frequently during the hotter months. Believe me, when the rubbish has had a chance to stew in a black bag, within a black dustbin, in the heat of a Mallorcan summer, it makes a very smelly car companion – even when shut in the boot. Of course, we could reduce the amount of rubbish if we had a compost bin, but The Boss is convinced that it would attract rats. As we have nine outdoor cats, I’m pretty sure that any rat in its right mind would keep well away but, for now, the subject of composting is closed; a pity really, as our soil could sure use a little organic boost.
Recycling facilities are good here on the island, and there are appropriate bins for waste plastics, paper, glass, and even old clothes and shoes, dotted around our nearest town. Again, it’s our responsibility to take our recyclable waste to town, which we do diligently.
So, if you’re looking to buy or rent a rural property on the island, find out where you’ll have to take your rubbish and recyclable waste – and if there are any restrictions in terms of times during which rubbish cannot be put into the bins. Local regulations here state that non-recyclable rubbish can only be deposited in the bins in the evenings. This being Mallorca, of course, nobody really seems to take much notice of this.
And if you’re considering a home in a village or town, do make sure that the nearest communal bins are far enough away from the property not to be a nuisance. Or you’ll be buying a lot of air freshener . . .