Controversy as mystery fire at overstuffed landfill miraculously “frees up vital space”

Environmentalists want answers after a mystery fire in the middle of overstuffed Loulé landfill site.

The reason is the timing.

The fire came just weeks after Algar, the Algarve’s solid waste disposal company, urged Loulé council to authorise landfill expansion into REN (national ecological reserve) territory, on the basis that the site was full to bursting.

As Público explained, the council has been holding back on decision-making, hoping to pass the buck to central government – particularly as local elections are on the horizon.

The problem is not simply that Loulé landfill is full to the gunnels. The problem is that locals will not want to see its perimeter extended.

Thus, ‘the fire’, the origin of which remains “unknown”.

Almargem agrees that it may have temporarily found an answer to the issue of available space, but it will have done so by releasing toxic emissions and destroying sheeting that prevents harmful leakages into the soil which will eventually find their way to underground water supplies.

The environmental association is therefore calling for an independent inquiry – not just into how the fire started, but how the first 17 years of Loulé’s landfill site have gone.

Público’s article last month alluded to multiple complaints about Algar’s service (click here).

But Almargem stresses that at least some of the problems come as a result of people still lumping all their household waste together and refusing to recycle.

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