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Incinerator of urban solid waste in Barueri, São Paulo, Brazil

Despite longstanding opposition from wastepicker movements and civil society, Brazil's first "waste-to-energy" plant is about to be installed in the municipality of Barueri (SP), jeopardizing recycling work in the name of sustainable development.


Brazil’s first incinerator for domestic solid waste is planned to be built in the municipality of Barueri, State of Sao Paulo. First proposed in 2010, it has has since then received strong civil society opposition but the start of construction has nevertheless been approved by public authorities. [1] 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Incinerator of urban solid waste in Barueri, São Paulo, Brazil
State or province:São Paulo
Location of conflict:Barueri
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
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Recycled Metals
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The concession for building the incineration plant was obtained by the company Foxx, today called Fox-Haztec, who as part of the public-private partnership invests between $R 300 and 400 million in the construction and will control the plant for the first 30 years. It will burn almost all household waste of Barueri, which has so-far been transferred to a sanitary landfill in the neighboring municipality of Santana de Parnaíba (while only 3% got recycled), as well as some waste from Carapicuíba and Santana de Parnaíba itself, and thereby produce electricity for about 80,000 residents – a so-called Waste-to-Energy (WtE) process. As the project developers claim, the “Unidade de Recuperação Energética” (Energy Recovery Plant) plant uses technology already well-established in countries like Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany. This would include the use of filters to prevent the release of toxic particles and a transparent monitoring system of the plant’s emissions. [1][2][3][4]

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project14,477,524.00 USD
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:2010
Company names or state enterprises:Foxx Haztec (Foxx) from Brazil - Has 30 years concession for incinerator
China Jinjiang Environment Holding Company (China Jinjiang Environment) from China - Controls Foxx, provides parts of the funds
Relevant government actors:Conselho Estadual do Meio Ambiente (Consema)
Companhia Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo (Cetesb)
Secretaria de Meio Ambiente (Sema)
International and Finance InstitutionsInternational Finance Corporation (IFC) - provides funds
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Movimento Anti-Incineração de Lixo Barueri
Movimento Nacional dos Catadores de Materiais Recicláveis (MNCR)
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
Resident groups of Barueri
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Wastepickers, recyclers
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Application of existing regulations
Proposal and development of alternatives:Strengthen recycling sector and selective waste collection.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:As it currently stands, the incinerator will be operating soon. Objections by wastepickers groups and the local population have not been heard.
Sources & Materials

[1] Rossetti, C. (2018): Barueri terá usina de incineração de lixo na Aldeia. Barueri na Rede, 31.08.2018. (Online, last accessed 20.12.2019)
[click to view]

[2] Blume, J. (2017): Primeira unidade de queima de lixo para energia será construída em 2017 em SP. Hypescience, 06.01.2017. (Online, last accessed 20.12.2019)
[click to view]

[3] Jornal de Barueri (2018): URE Barueri aguarda emissão de alvará de construção para início das obras. 03.05.2019. (Online, last accessed 20.12.2019)
[click to view]

[4] MNCR (2013): Moradores de Barueri protestam contra construção de incinerador de lixo. 15.07.2013. (Online, last accessed 20.12.2019)
[click to view]

[7] Manifesto Residúo Zero (2014): Resistência popular em Barueri contra a Foxx e a incineração. 15.01.2014. (Online, last accessed 20.12.2019)
[click to view]

[8] Soh, A. 82018): China Jinjiang Environment makes foray into Brazil; Q1 earnings drop 21%. The Business Times, 22.04.2018.
[click to view]

[9] MacauHub (2018): China Jinjiang Environment takes control of Brazil’s Foxx URE-BA Ambiental. 23.04.2018. (Online, last accessed 20.12.2019)
[click to view]

[10] Apsis (2013): Foxx e Haztec fecham fusão. 14.02.3013. (Online, last accessed 20.12.2019)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice Project (MS)
Last update10/02/2020
Conflict ID:4830
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