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Urban solid waste incinerator of Asturias, Spain

Government of the Principality of Asturias and COGERSA pushing for its construction in absence of a logical waste management plan compliant to the European Waste Directive


La Zoreda/Serín is a small rural settlement located roughly in the centre of the triangle conformed by the 3 major cities of the Principality of Asturias (Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés). The majority of the population of the Principality is concentrated within this triangle.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Urban solid waste incinerator of Asturias, Spain
State or province:Principado de Asturias
Location of conflict:La Zoreda/Serín
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Incinerators
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

310,000 tonnes of waste/year would be incinerated, from a total of 308,865 tonnes of waste/year (2011). Where will the rest of the waste come from?... particularly taking into account that both the population and the per capita waste production is decreasing.

Level of Investment:229,335,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:1.054.076
Company names or state enterprises:Consortium for the Solid Waste Management of Asturias (COGERSA) from Spain
Relevant government actors:Government of the Principality of Asturias
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Biodiversa, Amigos de la Naturaleza de Asturias, Mavea, Ecologistas en Acción, Coordinadora Ecoloxista...
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:Alternative waste management plan, including door to door collection of organic matter.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Complaints from environmental organisations have managed to halt the project so far.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Ley 5/2013, de 11 de junio, por la que se modifican la Ley 16/2002, de 1 de julio, de prevención y control integrados de la contaminación y la Ley 22/2011, de 28 de julio, de residuos y suelos contaminados.

Ley 22/2011, de 28 de julio, de residuos y suelos contaminados

Plan Nacional de Calidad del Aire y Protección de la Atmósfera 2013-2016

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Article about the promoter's attitude towards the environmental justice organisations
[click to view]

Alternative waste managemente plan proposed by the environmental justice organisations involved
[click to view]

Information about the risks of an incinerator
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Esther Vallado, Funder and Project Coordinator of Biodiversa, [email protected]
Last update10/03/2015
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