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
NameWaste incineration fuelled cement plant in Montcada i Reixac, Spain
SiteMontcada i Reixac
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Other industries
Specific CommoditiesCement
Industrial waste
Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)3
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population40,000
Start Date2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesLafarge Cementos from France
Holcim from Switzerland
LafargeHolcim from France
Relevant government actorsMontcada i Reixac town council, Catalan government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPlataforma antiincineració de Montcada i Reixac, Asociación de vecinos Can Sant Joan, GAIA
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationArtistic 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
OtherAlleged threat of air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Other socio-economic impacts
OtherNeighbours have complained about the cement factory for other reasons in the past, and they now complain against waste incineration.
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesStop the incineration of waste.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The appeal of the company regarding the EIA is pending in court and the mobilization continues in 2014 and 2015.
Sources and Materials

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

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

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants:
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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]


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]

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

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]


Newspaper article: El TSJC anula la licencia de la cementera de Montcada i Reixac:
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Newspaper article: La plataforma antiincineració de Montcada anirà als tribunals si es dóna el permís ambiental a Lafarge:
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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.
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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
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Media Links

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

Website against incinerators in Barcelona:
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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]

Other Documents

Lafarge cement factory Source: http://www.lavanguardia.com/local/barcelona/20141017/54418012372/un-experto-de-la-oms-relaciona-las-emisiones-de-la-cementera-de-montcada-con-el-cancer.html
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorAmaranta Herrero and EJatlas editors
Last update12/03/2015