Incinerator in Son Reus, Mallorca, Spain

Description
The incinerator of Son Reus, in Mallorca, is classified as an incinerator with energy recovery. It was built in 1992 by the private company TIRME (shareholders URBASER, IBERDROLA, FCC [ES] and ENEL [IT]), which was given the right to waste treatment in Mallorca by the island`s government until 2041. The incinerator started to operate in 1997 and had an initial capacity of 300,000 tons/year. In 2007, this capacity was extended to 730,000 tons/year, but there is not enough waste in the island to make it work at full capacity. Overcapacity has very high potential impacts on recycling markets and on waste treatment. The economics of overcapacity dictates, that if not enough waste is send to incineration, to pay off the investments, incineration fees must increase, which has an effect on waste charges paid by households and commercial activities. The Son Reus incinerator (biggest in southern Europe) burns 84% of all municipal waste generated in the island; hence most recyclables and compostables are today incinerated. Therefore the immense efforts of several zero waste municipalities (15% of Mallorca`s population), which have implemented ambitious door-to-door separation schemes and thereby reach a recycling quote of more than 75% of the total waste, are basically useless. The island´s incinerated waste, generates over 100.000 tons of ash and dregs, serious environmental impact and a public health issue. Future EU politics may worsen situation for the protagonists of large scale incineration in Mallorca. The Resource Efficiency Roadmap establishes that no waste that can be recycled or composted should be incinerated by 2020. This may create much bigger gap between the incineration capacity and the waste effectively incinerated and therefore higher prices for residual waste in the island.
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Basic Data
NameIncinerator in Son Reus, Mallorca, Spain
CountrySpain
ProvinceMallorca
SitePalma
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Incinerators
Specific CommoditiesDomestic municipal waste
Electricity
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
732,000 tons waste/per year,
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Level of Investment (in USD)365000000
Type of PopulationUrban
Start Date1992
Company Names or State EnterprisesENEL GREEN POWER from Italy - The TIRME project, which was founded in 1992 with adjudication of the concession of the public service for the management of urban waste in Majorca for the Council of Mallorca, has evolved in accordance with the needs of the Majorcan society, established by the three waste plans which have been fixed by the guidelines for the model of urban and assumable waste management in the island. http://www.netjac.eu/good-practice-tirme-environmental-technology-park-mallorca.html REPRESENTATION OF THE SHAREHOLDING IN TIRME has a representation of a 40%
URBASER from Spain - The TIRME project, which was founded in 1992 with adjudication of the concession of the public service for the management of urban waste in Majorca for the Council of Mallorca, has evolved in accordance with the needs of the Majorcan society, established by the three waste plans which have been fixed by the guidelines for the model of urban and assumable waste management in the island. http://www.netjac.eu/good-practice-tirme-environmental-technology-park-mallorca.html REPRESENTATION OF THE SHAREHOLDING IN TIRME has a representation of a 20%
FCC from Spain - The TIRME project, which was founded in 1992 with adjudication of the concession of the public service for the management of urban waste in Majorca for the Council of Mallorca, has evolved in accordance with the needs of the Majorcan society, established by the three waste plans which have been fixed by the guidelines for the model of urban and assumable waste management in the island. http://www.netjac.eu/good-practice-tirme-environmental-technology-park-mallorca.html REPRESENTATION OF THE SHAREHOLDING IN TIRME has a representation of a 20%
Iberdrola from Spain
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Balearic Islands and Mallorca
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersGreenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/espana/es/news/2010/November/greenpeace-entra-en-la-inciner/, GOB http://gobmallorca.com/, GAIA http://www.no-burn.org/mallorca-sun--waste, Zero Waste movement http://www.zerowasteeurope.eu/2012/11/mallorca-sun-waste-the-sunny-and-shady-sides-of-zero-waste/, Amics de la Terra http://www.amicsdelaterra.org/es/novedades/el-reciclaje-en-europa-se-ve-amenazado-por-la-proliferacion-de-incineradoras-p258
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Otherhigher rates of adult and childhood cancer, as well as birth defects
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
OtherIncreased waste charges
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Development of Alternativesnew waste management plan that includes a date to close the Son Reus incinerator
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.While there has been a strong resistance by several local and international environmental justice groups (including GAIA: Global Alliance on Incinerator Alternatives, GOB: Grup Balear Dornitologia, Amics de la Terra, Greenpeace, and Zero Waste movement) a decommissioning or downgrading of the incinerator has not been achieved yet.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Directive 2008/98/EC on waste (Waste Framework Directive)

References

El GOB vs la incineracio, GOB 2010

Links

Greenpeace Spain
[click to view]

GOB: Grup Balear Dornitologia
[click to view]

Amics de la Tierra
[click to view]

Zero Waste
[click to view]

Media Links

Photos and Blog of Greenpeace
[click to view]

TV news on GOB against incinerator
[click to view]

Greenpeace action in Son Reus incinerator
[click to view]

Other CommentsThe number of affected people refers to the inhabitants of Palma.

Total amount of investment refers to upgrading of plant (2007) 365,000,000
Meta Information
ContributorGabriel Weber
Last update03/05/2014
Comments