Multiple landfill sites, Portugal

“It must always be a place for leisure and sport, and never a landfill site”. Local communities revolt against the building of landfill sites.


Description
Until 1986, when Portugal joined the European Union, the responsibility of municipal solid waste management (MSW) was handled by each municipality. This process consisted in collection and disposal in landfills without any sanitary control (commonly called waste dumps). In 1994 there were 325 open dumps.
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Basic Data
NameMultiple landfill sites, Portugal
CountryPortugal
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific CommoditiesDomestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsUntil 1994, there were 325 dumping sites in Portugal, who reserved 73% of RSU, and none of the existing landfills fulfill European safety standards.
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population6 500 is the total population that lives in Bigorne, Cadaval, Sermonde e Taveiro.
Start Date01/01/1995
End Date01/01/2002
Company Names or State EnterprisesResioeste - Valorização e Tratamento de Resíduos Sólidos, S.A. (Resioeste) from Portugal
Suldouro - Valorização e Tratamento de Resíduos Sólidos Urbanos ( Suldouro) from Portugal
Resíduos Sólidos do Centro S.A. (ERSUC) from Portugal
Residouro - Valorização e Tratamento de Resíduos Sólidos, S.A. (Residouro) from Portugal
Relevant government actorsAgência Portuguesa do Ambiente (APA)
International and Financial InstitutionsEuropean Commission (EC)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMovimento Pró Informação (MPI) - Cadaval

Associação para o Estudo e Defesa do Ambiente do Concelho de Alenquer (ALAMBI) - Cadaval

Associação de Defesa ao Ambiente de Sermonde e Serzedo (Pinus)

Coletivo de moradores - Bigorne

Comissão Representativa de Cidadãos Envolvidos na Defesa do Ambiente

Quercus
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 MobilizingLocal ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Boycotts of companies-products
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Infectious diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseEnvironmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesThe proposal is to study alternatives landfill areas so that the populations of chosen locations (who are often in rural or semi rural and remote areas and who aren´t the largest waste producers) shouldn´t suffer the strong impacts of these infrastructures. They also H

highlight the need for greater investment in recycling, reuse and reduction of urban waste.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Despite the large popular mobilization, in most cases these landfills were built in the places indicated.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Decreto-Lei nº 379/93, de 5 de Novembro. Previu a criação de sistemas multimunicipais de gestão de resíduos que deveriam servir a pelo menos dois municípios e cuja exploração seria efetuada diretamente pelo Estado ou concessionada a entidade pública de natureza empresarial ou a empresa resultante da associação de entidades públicas.
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References

FERNANDES, Lúcia de Oliveira . O processo decisório da localização de um aterro de RSU: o caso de Sermonde. Dissertação de mestrado. Universidade de Aveiro. Secção Autónoma de Ciências Sociais, Políticas e Jurídicas, 2006.
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NUNES, João A.; MATIAS, Marisa; COSTA, Susana. Risco, incerteza e conflitos ambientais em Portugal. V Congresso Português de Sociologia. Universidade do Minho, 2004.
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MARQUES, Maria João de A. e S. Predicting and minimizing opposition to municipal solid waste landfills siting. Universidade Nova de Lisboa: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia - Departamento de Filosofia e Engenharia Ambiental, Tese de Doutorado, Lisboa, Dez. 2012.

Links

JORNAL PÚBLICO. Movimento organiza manifestação contra aterro do Oeste. Jornal Público, 8 de Agosto de 2001
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QUARESMA, PEDRO. “Taveiro, Coimbra. Lixeira + aterro?” in Não nos lixem. 23 de Novembro de 1996.
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Media Links

Aterro da discórdia
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Other Documents

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Other CommentsSince there were protests in different places, the GPS refers to the geographic center of Portugal. GPS of each conflict: Bigorne: Latitude 41.008440, Longitude -7.885486. Cadaval: Latitude 39.243760, Longitude -9.103332. Sermonde: Latitude 41.048627, Longitude -8.584418. Taveiro: Latitude 40.194585, Longitude -8.505972.
Meta Information
ContributorFrancisco Fernandes, Inês Costa and Teresa Meira
Last update13/03/2015
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