The Andalusian regional government will close down an uncontrolled dump in Albox.

The Regional Minister for Sustainability, the Environment and the Blue Economy, Ramón Fernández-Pacheco, has informed the Andalusian Regional Government in Parliament that it is going to close the inert waste dump at Albox, in Almería, ‘in order to avoid environmental damage and reduce health risks’. He also announced that the tender is currently open for the execution of the sealing works for an amount of 3.9 million euros.

In response to an oral question in parliamentary committee, Fernández-Pacheco stated that these are ‘actions that will reduce both environmental and health risks, as well as those that could affect people’s safety. The execution period will be 24 months and, after completion of the works, a Monitoring and Control Plan will be established – with a minimum duration of 30 years – with which the correct restoration of the area will be supervised”.

Thus, the Minister stressed that ‘the recovery of land and the sealing of landfills is a priority for the Department of Sustainability and since 2019 to date we have mobilised 29.4 million euros for the cleaning and sealing of landfills’.

In this line, Fernández-Pacheco recalled that ‘the circular economy is a fundamental pillar to achieve a sustainable future and a generator of green jobs. For this reason, we continue to build clean points or provide aid to local authorities so that they can join the new circular model by improving, modernising or building facilities for the treatment of solid urban waste and the collection of bio-waste, although to date we have allocated more than 110 million euros for this purpose”.

The process of sealing the Albox landfill site

This inert waste dump, currently inactive, is located to the west of the municipality of Albox. It is an uncontrolled landfill site which has been infringed by the European Commission due to the negligence and inaction of previous governments.

Both the closure process and its subsequent management will be governed by the criteria and requirements established by Directive 1999/31 (EC) and Royal Decree 646/2020 of 7 July on waste disposal facilities.

Accordingly, the landfill will be cleaned and conditioned and up to four layers of sealing will be provided to definitively isolate the waste. Next, ditches will be built to regulate the drainage of surface runoff, as well as two breakwater retaining walls.

Finally, revegetation will be carried out with autochthonous species and a perimeter fence will be installed to prevent the possible overturning of waste and to prevent the entry of livestock that could undermine the plant cover.

In addition, piezometers will be set up to measure the groundwater level and settlement control milestones to check the stability of the waste disposal basins.

The last step will be the establishment of a Monitoring and Control Plan to supervise the correct restoration of the area, which will have a minimum duration of 30 years, as the Minister of Sustainability informed the Parliament.

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