The Torremendo struggle is known as a historical struggle against the construction of a Macro-landfill in a district of the city of Orihuela, in the south of Alicante, Spain. For 11 years, neighbours and environmental groups fought against corruption in the Town Council in order to avoid the construction of a landfill which was approved without any environmental or urbanistic permit.
The Town Council approved the construction of the Torremendo landfill on October, the 20th 1994. The provincial government (Diputación de Alicante), the Town Council Mayor and the company owner were pollitically alligned (they were related to the PP party (conservatives) and the landfill company owner funded the political campaign of the Torremendo PP Mayor). As it would be proved years later, their main objective with the project was to get public money through waste management. In fact, the last two Mayors of the town have been condemned for corruption and there is a Court case ongoing against the owner of the landfill company (all these corruption cases are known as El Caso Brugal).
Opposition to the landfill project started in 1994. Neighbours and environmental groups became allies and launched a public campaign against the landfill project, denouncing that the project had been granted in the first place without even the existence of a technical project. They also pointed out at the negative environmental and health impacts and risks as well as the corruption and the lack of transparency and public participation of the project. They organised massive demonstrations and even occupied the area, taking 24 hours shifts in situ during years to avoid the operation of the landfill. They successfully put their bodies in the middle to avoid the project to actually start construction. They also brought this case to the Valencian Court of Justice and to the European Parliament.
In fact, it was due to the ressolution of a Court Case that the project was finally declared illegal in 2006.
The company unsuccessfully tried to appeal the Court resolution and relaunch the project over the following years. In June 2013, the Proambiente company got permission to locate the macro-landfill (designed for 20 years of operation) in Albatera, another municipality of Alicante. This has also launched the beginning of a new social contestation against that project.
In 2011, Monserrate Guillén, a former music teacher from Torremendo and a very active member against the landfill project, became the new Mayor of Orihuela town, supported by the Green party. That was significant because he was the second green mayor of a town in the history of Spain.