Waste incineration fuelled cement plant in Córdoba, Spain

Mobilizations and concerns about health impacts managed to stop co-incineration, but the company is again trying to burn cheap waste


The Cosmos cement plant was built in Córdoba in the 1930s. Back then, this cement plant was far from the city, but as the city grew, residential neighborhoods were built around the cement plant (currently there are houses allegedly at 150 m distance). For many years there have been protests from the neighbors, demanding better filters to stop the ashes from the cement plant.

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Basic Data
NameWaste incineration fuelled cement plant in Córdoba, Spain
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 CommoditiesCement
Industrial waste
Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population300
Start Date2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesCementos Cosmos from Spain
Corporacion Noroeste from Spain
Grupo Votorantim Cimentos from Brazil
Relevant government actorsAndalucia regional government (Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Medio Ambiente), Córdoba Town council
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPlatform Aire Limpio, AMPA 'La Amistad del CEIP Aljoxaní., AMPA 'La Palma del CEIP Concepción Arenal'., Federación de Asociaciones vecinales 'Al Zahara'., Asociación vecinal 'La Algodonera', de Cepansa., Asociación vecinal 'Amanecer', de Fátima., Asociación vecinal 'Diana', del Parque Fidiana., Asociación vecinal 'El Coso de los Tejares'., Asociación vecinal 'Huerta de San Rafael'., Asociación vecinal 'La Palomera' de barrio del Naranjo., Asociación vecinal 'Santuario'., Asociación vecinal 'Torre de la Malmuerta'., Asociación vecinal 'La Unión de Levante'., Asociación vecinal 'Valdeolleros'., Asociación vecinal 'La Viñuela'., Comunidad de propietarios plaza escultor Ruiz Olmos., Barrios Despiertos., Asociación 'Primavera Andaluza' (Córdoba)., Asociación para la Recuperación del Bosque Autóctono, ARBA., Centro de promoción de la mujer 'Cordobán' de Valdeolleros., Consejo de distrito de Levante., Consejo de distrito Norte., Consejo de distrito Sureste., Consejo del Movimiento Ciudadano., Coordinadora de colectivos sociales Córdoba Solidaria., 'Ecologistas en Acción' Córdoba., 'En lucha' Córdoba., EQUO., Izquierda Unida., Partido Andalucista., 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 MobilizingLocal ejos
Forms of MobilizationOfficial complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Soil contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
OtherAir pollution related health issues
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject temporarily suspended
Co-incineration facility stopped
Development of AlternativesNot to grant the permission for the cement plant to co-incinerate wastes for fuel.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The company was not able to switch to co-incineration to fuel the plants in 2007 and the anti-incinerator groups claim that they helped stop the certification. The company asserts on the contrary that it was its own decision to stop plans for "energy valorization of waste" due to slack in cement demand after the economic crisis of 2008.
Sources and Materials

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:
[click to view]

Decreto 7/2012, de 17 de enero, por el que se aprueba el Plan de Prevención y Gestión de Residuos Peligrosos de Andalucía 2012-2020:
[click to view]


Web anti-incinerator Platform in Córdoba:
[click to view]

Newspaper article: Jimenez, R (12/11/2012) Los vecinos se levantan contra la instalación de una incineradora en pleno casco urbano:
[click to view]

A list of newspaper articles from 2007 till 2013 can be found here:
[click to view]

Newspaper article: (03/10/2013). La Junta anulará la licencia de Cosmos para quemar residuos. En: ABC.
[click to view]

Nespaper article. (18/09/2007) Cosmos cede a las presiones y renuncia quemar residuos. En: El Día de Córdoba.
[click to view]

Ecologistas en Accion and list of Platform's members
[click to view]

[1] El Diario de Cordoba - IU asegura que Medio Ambiente permitirá a Cosmos incinerar productos
[click to view]

Media Links

Photos of many protests:
[click to view]

Other Documents

Demonstration by Aire Limpio Source: Aire Limpio - http://www.cordobaairelimpio.org/
[click to view]

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