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Waste incineration fuelled cement plant in Montcada i Reixac, Spain

Co-incineration of waste at cement plant allegedly causing air pollution and health problems for local inhabitants.


This is an environmental justice conflict taking place in Montcada i Reixac, near Barcelona, with complaints from civil society organizations against the Lafarge cement factory (owned by Holcim).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Waste incineration fuelled cement plant in Montcada i Reixac, Spain
State or province:Barcelona
Location of conflict:Montcada i Reixac
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Incinerators
Other industries
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:3
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:40,000
Start of the conflict:2007
Company names or state enterprises:Lafarge Cementos from France
Holcim from Switzerland
LafargeHolcim from France
Relevant government actors:Montcada i Reixac town council, Catalan government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Plataforma antiincineració de Montcada i Reixac, Asociación de vecinos Can Sant Joan, GAIA
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
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
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
A Macro-festival
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsAlleged threat of air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsNeighbours have complained about the cement factory for other reasons in the past, and they now complain against waste incineration.
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:Stop the incineration of waste.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The appeal of the company regarding the EIA is pending in court and the mobilization continues in 2014 and 2015.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Decret del Parlament de Catalunya 80/2002, regulador de les condicions per a la incineració de residus: i tramits/Normativa/Normativa catalana en materia de residus/decret_80_2002.pdf
[click to view]

Real Decreto 653/2003 sobre incineración de residuos:
[click to view]

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants:
[click to view]

Decret del Parlament 323/1994 pel qual es regulen les instal·lacions d'incineració de residus i els límits de les seves emissions a latmosfera: i tramits/Normativa/Normativa catalana en materia de residus/decret_323 _1994.pdf
[click to view]

EU 2000/76/CE Directive on incineration of waste:
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Video: Un pols a la valorització. Short documentary on the Montcada i Reixac environmental conflict with the cement plant with incineration:
[click to view]

Video. EL escarabajo verde El aire que respiras. Documentary on Barcelonas air quality. From the minute 14:30 the case of Montcada i Reixac is explained.
[click to view]

Court struggle against waste incineration fuelled cement plants. A video from the Montcada i Reixac antiincinerator group in which their lawyer explains the legal strategy:
[click to view]

García-Pérez et al, 2013, “Cancer mortality in towns in the vicinity of incinerators and installations for the recovery or disposal of hazardous waste”, Environment International 51:31-44
[click to view]

Article about the formation of dioxines from domestic waste incineration: McKay, G. (2002). Dioxin characterisation, formation and minimisation during municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration: review. Chemical Engineering Journal, 86, 343–368.

Javier García-Pérez et al. (2015), Cancer mortality in towns in the vicinity of installations for the production of cement, lime, plaster, and magnesium oxide”, Chemosphere, 128: 103-110
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Newspaper article: La plataforma antiincineració de Montcada anirà als tribunals si es dóna el permís ambiental a Lafarge:
[click to view]

Campaign: Judici a la cimentera (let's bring the cement plant to Court)
[click to view]

[1] La Vanguardia - Un experto de la OMS relaciona las emisiones de la cementera de Montcada con el cáncer
[click to view]

Newspaper article: El TSJC anula la licencia de la cementera de Montcada i Reixac:
[click to view]

Radio program from Spanish National Radio on waste incineration fuelled cement plants. The antiincineration group from Moncada i Reixac is interviewed at the beggining of the program. March 2014.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Website antiincinerator platform montcada aire net:
[click to view]

Website against incinerators in Barcelona:
[click to view]

Montaca i Reixac antiincineration group Interviewed in the Catalan Regional TV (TV3) . March 2014.
[click to view]

The Catalan actor Sergi López gives support to the antiincineration campaign in Montcada i Reixac.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Amaranta Herrero and EJatlas editors
Last update12/03/2015
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