Outrage in Valongo where stinking landfill “threatens public health”

Over 1200 people marched in Valongo on Bank Holiday Monday in protest to a stinking landfill site which they believe threatens public health.

The dump site takes 400 types of rubbish, from asbestos to toxic sludge, and was opposed by the council and populations before its authorisation.

Fires reportedly have since damaged the landfill lining, potentially polluting underground aquifers.

People are “totally fed up”, says mayor José Manuel Ribeiro, adding: “We can no longer accept this”.

Monday’s protest brought ‘all political parties together’, he told Lusa, stressing this is an issue that involves both air and groundwater pollution.

The council has tried everything, said Ribeiro. “We have sent letters and letters to various entities, from the CCDR-N (commission for regional coordination and development of the north) to the Ministry of the Environment. Nothing works.”

He stressed the situation shows a “complete lack of respect for populations”, particularly the people of Sobrado, the parish where the Recivalongo landfill is sited, and where people cannot open their windows for the foul odour that immediately assaults them.

Lusa says that as a result of the protest – and concerns over the damage to the landfill’s protective lining – PSD MPs have recommended that the government “reviews” Recivalongo’s environmental licences.

Tabloid Correio da Manhã meantime has given environment minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes a “thumbs down” over the situation – one of many thumbs down that he has received from the paper since taking office.

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