Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

The Government was unaware of the characterisation of waste shipped from Zubieta to Artajona

  • The Environment Department of the Basque Government did not have information on the characterisation of waste shipped to Artajona, as indicated in the documentation submitted to the Basque Parliament. Ekondakin, manager of the Gipuzkoa incinerator, continued to send leachers until the company Ecomaneiro requested a telephone stop.
Artaxoako Ecofert enpresako instalazioak. 5.000 tona lixibiatu eraman ditu GHK-k bi urtez, Eusko Jaurlaritzako Ingurumen Sailak karakterizazioaren inguruko informaziorik izan gabe. Argazkia: EiTB

09 February 2024 - 12:53

The unlawfully deposited waste from the incinerator from Zubieta to Artajona continues to be important. The Environment Minister of the Basque Government, Arantxa Tapia, has responded to questions put by EH Bildu parliamentarian, Mikel Otero, in which she acknowledged that her department had no information on the characterisation of waste, as it was a “relationship between two private entities”. I mean, I didn't know whether this waste was hazardous or not.

EH Bildu believes that this shows that the government did not control “what kind of waste they were” and that it did not take “any measures to prevent their shipment to Navarra.”

The documentation submitted to Otero includes a report sent by the Environmental Department to the Gipuzkoa Waste Consortium (GHK) dated 25 January which clearly indicates that the waste sent to the company EcoάSansoain, S.L. de Artajona were “leached”, but were assigned the code LER 190812, that is, as “sludges”.

Ecofu's facilities were not allowed to handle this code, nor in any case to treat leaching. However, 5,000 tons of waste was transported in tankers between 2022 and 2023.

On 16 October 2023, it was made public that a court in San Sebastian, José Ignacio Asensio, deputy minister of sustainability of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and president of the Waste Consortium of Gipuzkoa, GHK, investigated, among other things, for “crime against the environment” and “falsification of documents”.

However, as shown in the emails integrated in the documentation received in the Basque Parliament, the management company of the incinerator of Gipuzkoa, Ekondakin, did not suspend the shipments until the company of Artajona requested it by telephone on 20 December 2023.

The Government of Navarra reported on 24 January that it had ordered the closure of the Artajona facility and imposed fines of EUR 40,000 and EUR 110,000 on the company.

Zubieta leachate: “incident” that has lasted for two years

Zubieta incinerator is not authorised for the production of leachate unless it is derived from an “incidence”. In particular, it is stated in the documentation that in July 2022 a neighbour complained about Arkaitzerreka’s scratched colour passing below the Zubieta incinerator, after which the GHK signed a treatment contract with the company SADER.

The Anti-Incinerator Movement has repeatedly denounced that the water has become contaminated from Arkaitzerreka, after passing below the Zubieta incinerator. Photo: ADEs

Shortly afterwards, the company began to remove the "extraordinary" waste generated by this event. Tapia has assured in the answer that the waste is “a consequence of an incident”, but tankers have traveled at least until the end of 2023.

In this sense, Otero de EH Bildu stressed that “in Zubieta they have been leached in the last two years. In other words, we know that the operation of the incinerator has been exceptional, irregular, and that during this time it has not solved the problem.”

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