In 2000, the old shoe factory located in the city of Kragujevac was privatized by the company “034 Metal Recycling” DOO and modified into a metals recycling industry. This metal foundry is situated only 10 m from the nearest houses and 100 m from the kindergarten and city park built by the citizens of Kragujevac.See more...
Since the foundry started working multiple episodes of air pollution happened affecting the life quality of the local community and causing respiratory diseases.
The local community reported the case to the city police, the regional environmental inspectorate, and the environmental ministry and even sent a letter to the president of Serbia, however without any success. In 2002, massive protests were organized in Kragujevac, which resulted in a temporary closure of the factory. By that time the foundry became one of the biggest exporters in Serbia. The factory was re-opened after only two weeks due to the pressure of workers syndicate and foreign companies, partners and clients. Re-opening of the foundry caused further pollution. The local community kept on reporting the case to the authorities at various levels. The authorities provided the community with 15 resolutions against the factory, however the production has never stopped and the factory continued polluting, especially on weekends and late in the night. According to the local community, slag from the production process was deposited outdoors polluting ground and surface water. The company never admitted polluting, instead it has claimed investments in the air pollution abatement technology. The regional environmental inspectorate confirmed the company's claims.
The citizens kept on organising street demonstrations demanding the minimum distance of foundry of 500 m from the closes settlements as specified in the environmental law, if not possible than at least installation of air filters. In 2010, the activist created a documentary movie about the case that was broadcasted on the national television. In 2011, the general director of the company and few employees were arrested due tax fraud, after which the foundry was closed. Due to enormous debt the foundry went bankrupt in 2012. Up to beginning of 2014 the foundry was auctioned three times but there were no interested buyers. The foundry remains closed.