Benidorm and its waste management, a success story at the UNWTO Sustainable Destinations Summit

The Mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez, participated this morning in the second of the sessions of the opening day of the Summit of Sustainable Destinations that the World Tourism Organization is developing in Palma de Mallorca from today to Saturday, focused on Waste Management
Benidorm shared a panel with practical experiences developed by North American companies Stinia Inc and Islands Trails Network, and Spanish companies Mintsait/Indra and Iberostar Hotels.

Toni Pérez, in his presentation, highlighted the importance of Benidorm as the first certified smart tourist destination in the world, the importance of the UNE 178501 standard and the Red DTI methodology developed by Segittur which in 2018 allowed to be the first to exceed 80% of the indicators in the five DTI axes. Benidorm, explained Pérez, “is a city that offers 65,000 regulated places, which exceeded 16.5 million overnight stays in 2019 and which has an effective protection in the territory of 61% thanks to the efficiency of an urban model vertical, of the type of accommodation hotel and permanent industry work on universal accessibility which allows 70% of trips on foot and thus offers 134 km of cycle paths”.

Pérez stressed the importance of the model in reducing water consumption, “by 18% in the last 25 years, with a growth of 40% in the population and 26% in overnight stays”, highlighting “the yield water from the distribution network by 96%” as well as the implementation of a consumption monitoring system.

Pérez recalled that “since March we have a new tool, at Dinapsis Lab, with Hidraqua, which analyzes the environmental quality of the entire city”. “The 19 ecosystem indicators demonstrate in an impartial and certified way the good state of environmental health of Benidorm”, underlined the mayor.

The highlight of the Benidorm exhibition was, during this summit, on the issue of urban waste management (RSU). Toni Pérez explained the process “in a city which, due to its shape and layout, allows a more efficient collection and in less time, in four hours” and which, due to its commitment to urban development and the accommodation model, “manages to reduce the ratio of waste generation which for Benidorm is 28% lower than the national average”

Pérez reviewed the local system that incorporates the transfer and packaging factories and the eco-park, which has a mobile unit that travels through neighborhoods to facilitate the process for neighbors and residents.

The mayor explained part of the process that takes place in Benidorm and from Benidorm, pointing out that, for example, “the Benidorm light packaging plant processes 30% of those generated in the Valencian Community”.

Exceptional mention in the intervention of the Mayor of Benidorm for the chapter on the recovery of glass containers: “Benidorm is one of the 8 municipalities in Spain which manages to recover more than 56 kilos per inhabitant and per year: Benidorm recycles three times more than the Spanish average”. For Pérez, it is very significant that “with the amount of glass recovered in Benidorm, we avoid CO2 emissions equivalent to a journey of more than 24,000 kilometers: like going from Benidorm to our antipodes and back”,
Finally, Toni Pérez highlighted one of the main bastions of this process in Benidorm: “a first-rate ally like the hotel factory”. He said that Hosbec, “among other initiatives, is developing ‘significant management strategies to reduce waste.’

In his presentation, he highlighted the projects of the hotel management association to promote the circular economy and detailed certain practices.

In the sessions that started this morning at the Sustainable Destinations Summit in Palma de Mallorca, success stories are analyzed and presented in the areas of water, waste, circular economy, data analysis for decision-making in tourism sustainability and human development initiatives.

Experts, technicians, entrepreneurs and business leaders, organizations and institutions from Spain, USA, Sweden, Monaco, UK, Germany, Portugal, Turkey and from the Maldives participate in the panels.

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