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Residents wonder whether Friday 13th was an inauspicious day to launch a plant they claim is no more than a 'rural tip'
20.06.14 - 12:43 -
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Recycling plant or rural tip?
Local and regional authorities at the opening last week. :: SUR
Residents living in the countryside around a new waste recycling plant in La Jarra, Coín, were surprised to see heavy machinery delivered to the site on Thursday last week for the official inauguration of the facility on Friday 13th.
At a ceremony attended by local mayors and councillors as well as the regional head of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment, José Sánchez Maldonado, the leader of Coín council declared that the new facility would be a “perfect combination of ecology and economy” as the leading waste treatment plant for the Malaga province.
Ultimately planned to serve a population of 400,000 inhabitants, the ‘Recicla Andalucía’ plant received its first deliveries of construction rubble and organic waste in advance of last Friday’s official ceremony.
La Jarra resident Lynda Elliot, who lives opposite the rural site, said she and other neighbours were surprised to see the machinery arrive in the field for the ceremonial opening, as court cases against the development are still under way.
She told SUR in English “Seprona (environmental police) have investigated the proposed development and are still to report; there are active court cases over the use of a private road to access the field and according to our lawyer, the ‘recycling plant’ doesn’t even have a licence yet.”
Lynda added she saw large clouds of concrete dust emanating from the site as the rubble crusher was tested prior to the arrival of the dignitaries.
“There are olive groves and sheep farms all around the site. I can’t believe they can just allow the concrete dust to blow all over. They never started up the machinery when the mayors were on site,” said Lynda.
According to neighbouring Álora council, as well as demolition rubble, the site will eventually also recycle industrial scrap metal, fridges, washing machines and other electrical apparatus, scrapped cars and other waste.
While the neighbours of the plant continue their legal actions to prevent the site from opening, the owner and promoter of the project to build the recycling plant has the backing of local councils, with the mayor of Coín officiating at the inauguration of the facility from a marquee erected on the site especially for last Friday’s event.
“The recycling machinery hired for the official ceremony was collected on Friday afternoon but lorries continue to dump rubble contaminated with plastics and paint on the site all the time. It is not a recycling centre, it is just a tip in the middle of the countryside,” says Lynda.