The illegal landfill of El Vendrell continues a decade after its fire

On December 22, 2011, a dense cloud of smoke covered El Vendrell. An illegal dump in which thousands of tons of waste accumulated began to burn next to the urbanization of Mas Borràs.

The firefighters warned that it would not be easy to put it out due to the large amount of accumulated fuel. The fire burned garbage for more than 20 days. The residents of the urbanization had to live with masks and wet towels around doors and windows to try to avoid the smoke.

They had already warned of the accumulation of garbage on that site where the garbage transfer plant of the company Cosbapsa, in charge of the service, was located. The waste had to be there three days before taking it to the landfill, but the company accumulated it to avoid transportation costs.

The fire went out and sanctions were imposed on a company that was already bankrupt. But throughout the area there were tons of waste and there they are still. Neighbors denounce that this land a few meters from their houses It continues to be an illegal macro-dump in which all kinds of rubbish are dumped with the health risk that it entails.

Remains of construction material, household appliances, mountains of clothing, furniture, a large amount of remains of asbestos sheets, motorcycle skeletons... Garbage spreads all over the land without ending a situation that It has been going on for more than a decade despite the risk it entails and the complaints from the neighbors.

However, there is not going to be a quick fix. There are two forced execution files open for the person in charge of the land. One is to fence off the entire estate in order to prevent access to cars and trucks that continue to carry all kinds of garbage. Another is to remove all accumulated waste and clean up the land.

The forced execution file contemplates that the City Council assume the intervention and later pass the collection to the person in charge of the land, but the company that managed it no longer exists and there is no clear figure as the owner of the site to hold it accountable. For this reason it seems difficult that the work can be faced.

The residents of Mas Borràs, the population center that must live with this health risk, regret the delay of more than a decade in finding a solution. "That the City Council expropriate the land", raises Antonio Raya, a resident of the area. But the problem is how expensive it is to clean up the entire farm.

Because, moreover, in all probability the subsoil presents high levels of contamination due to leachates filtered for years, which would condition a future use of the land.

On the farm are the ruins of the buildings that were the company's offices and that threaten to collapse at any moment. There are also underground water tanks that are uncovered or covered with a simple iron, which poses a risk since there are still those who access the area to continue carrying all kinds of garbage.

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