Illegal rubbish dump.jpg

Illegal rubbish dump

LAGOA’S OLD rubbish dump, which should have been closed down when the Barlavento landfill site was created in 1998, is still working illegally.

The site, which is around two kilometres from Porches, still receives construction rubble, metal and garden waste, which is illegally dumped there on a regular basis (see The Resident edition, October 10).

Lagoa’s socialist opposition party raised awareness of this situation and its impact on the environment during a recent visit to the site.

Party spokesman Aurélio Marcos said that the site is an environmental crime, which as well as having a negative visual impact also emits bad odours.

Rui Correia, Vice President of Lagoa Câmara, said: “Despite the rubbish dump being made extinct several years ago, it has become a habit for people to go there and dispose of their waste and all kinds of rubbish. “We clean up every so often and take everything to the landfill site.”

The site itself is also not fenced, and has several possible entrances and just one gate with a padlock on it.

Rui Correia said that the padlock is broken every week and admitted that sometimes the Câmara also dumps rubbish at the site. “There may be times when our vehicles deposit rubbish collected in other areas, but they are temporary situations,” he said.

Whereas several other câmaras have regenerated redundant rubbish dumps and transformed them into public parks and leisure areas, the future of Lagoa’s rubbish dump remains uncertain.

No licence

“The site that was the municipal rubbish dump is classified as agricultural land. We cannot do anything there,” said Rui Correia.

A spokesman from the regional development authority, CCDR, confirmed that the dump site is not licensed to receive rubbish. “The site is not licensed, but it could be licensed by the CCDR if it complies with the technical requirements and the Câmara Municipal applies to us, which has not yet happened,” said the spokesman. “All câmaras know that the unlicensed disposal of waste is a fineable offence, for which Lagoa Câmara will be fined.”

Lagoa’s old scrap yard, located near the rubbish dump, and which has many vehicles and metal parts, is also due to be cleaned up within the next few months by a licensed company.

“The problem is that there is only one company in the Algarve that is certified to collect items from these scrap yards and it can take three to four months,” said a Câmara spokesman.

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