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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
Name of conflict:Waste incineration fuelled cement plant in Córdoba, Spain
State or province:Andalucia
Location of conflict:Córdoba
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:

Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:300
Start of the conflict:2005
Company names or state enterprises:Cementos Cosmos from Spain
Corporacion Noroeste from Spain
Grupo Votorantim Cimentos from Brazil
Relevant government actors:Andalucia regional government (Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Medio Ambiente), Córdoba Town council
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Platform 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
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Soil contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Other Health impactsAir pollution related health issues
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Project temporarily suspended
Co-incineration facility stopped
Development of alternatives:Not to grant the permission for the cement plant to co-incinerate wastes for fuel.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain: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
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Photos of many protests:
[click to view]

Other documents

Demonstration by Aire Limpio Source: Aire Limpio -
[click to view]

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