2023-03-06 – peelings and pealings

Església de Santa Maria, Arenys de Mar

Last Updated on 29 April 2024 by gerry

Our first Monday in our new home from home evolved into a very nice rest day. We didn’t move from the flat, we enjoyed the plentiful light we get through the day and relaxed with tea, coffee and a bit of improvisation with the food we still had in the cupboard.

With no excursion today, today’s journal entry is an opportunity to explore a couple of the more mundane facets of our experience in Arenys de Mar: the peelings and the pealings, by which I mean the recycling and food waste scheme they have here and the bells of the Església de Santa Maria.


We have yet to meet our AirBnB hosts, but they’ve created an informative booklet for guests about the locality, restaurant recommendations and information about how waste is managed here in Arenys de Mar. This latter topic took us several reads before we began to get the hang of it. Some of it was lost in translation and needed some further research on the local munipality website. It turns out that they have recently introduced a radical new doorstep collection scheme for different types of waste on different evenings. The scheme hopes to decrease the percentage of waste that goes to landfill / incineration with the bonus result of getting rid of most of the large communal bins, which were taking up too much space in the streets and causing other problems.

Mundane as dealing with the rubbish is, it is something that is important to get on top of and for me anyway helps tas an anchor to the place I’m in and resonates with my chores back home. As much for our own benefit as anything, here’s a breakdown of the six types of waste that might need dealt with here and what to do with each.

Waste Comments Collection
1. Food waste The peelings – all the leftovers from cooking Place in white compostable bag in the street by 8pm on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night
2. Containers Cans, plastic tubs, tetrapaks, plastic, aluminum or polystyrene packaging Leave in street in yellow bag by 8pm Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night
3. Paper and cardboard Newspapers, magazines, cardboard packaging Leave in paper bag or cardboard box in the street by 8pm Monday and Friday night
4. Glass Bottles etc No collection for these, just use the many large green bottle banks still found in the street
5. Nappies and sanitary towels This is one we don’t need to worry about Collected every day from the street
6. General waste Everything else that can’t be recycled or collected above It was hard to figure out at first what we had to do with the remainder of our waste, but there is one set of grey communal bins 500m up the street, so we can dispose of this in a grey bag there
Bottle bank in Arenys de Mar
Bottle bank in Arenys de Mar


When we were looking at this flat for our accommodation there were a number of previous guests who commented in their reviews about the 24/7 ringing of bells in the church next door. Most guests who mentioned the bells actually reported that it didn’t cause them much disturbance. So how have we got on with the bells of Santa Maria?

Well, there is a bing-bong at quarter past the hour, a bing-bong-bing-bong at half past the hour, a bing-bong-bing-bong-bing-bong at the three-quarters mark and a bing-bong-bing-bong-bing-bong-bing-bong on the hour followed by however many bongs it takes to indicate the hour of the day. The same number bongs are repeated on their own at 2mins past the hour just in case you missed them the first time. Despite what seems an excessive amount of binging and bonging, we actually quite like the bells. When we are sleeping we don’t notice them, i.e. they don’t wake us up. Our awareness of the bells has lessened quickly with time and the perception now after a week is that they are sometimes a comfort, never an irritant. BING BONG!

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