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Work starts to clean up and seal illegal tip in Nerja

Work has started to clean up and close the Río de la Miel illegal dump.
Work has started to clean up and close the Río de la Miel illegal dump. / E. C.
  • The regional government is putting 1.9 million euros into the cleanup operation at Río de la Miel, which is expected to finish by the end of 2022

The Andalucía government has started work to clean up and seal the Río de la Miel illegal tip in Nerja, which saw 800,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste dumped from 1998 to 2016.

Speaking last week about the work, which is expected to take around 12 months, the regional sustainable development representative in Malaga, José Antonio Víquez, said, "We are working to keep our commitment to a green revolution in the province."

He went on to say that the project was a "priority" for the Junta de Andalucía in order to reduce the environmental and health and safety risks caused by dumping.

Environmental impact

Víquez highlighted possible pollution of nearby waterways as well as risks to wildlife and people as consequences of the waste left at the site.

Work includes cleaning up the area, stabilising the entrance to the old quarry site, the reintroduction of native species of plants, drainage and a plan for environmental control and surveillance. The regional government is set to invest 1.9 million euros in the operation.

According to Víquez, the project to clean up the Río de la Miel falls under the regional government's new decree; 'Towards a Circular Economy 2030' (PlRec2030), which sets out plans to reduce municipal waste deposited at tips by 10 per cent over the next decade.

The court case into the scandal is ongoing, with prosecutors calling for two year prison sentences and an 18 month ban on public office for Nerja mayor José Alberto Armijo along with councillor Nieves Atencia. A number of local business owners are also facing possible sentences for their links to the illegal refuse site.