Reasons why we disagree with waste incineration in cement factories

The answer to this question is simple, although, in essence, it is not. Of course, we believe that incineration of waste will seriously harm the health of people in Kaštela, Split, and Solin.

Namely, Cemex has obtained a license from the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection for incinerating 142 560 tons of fuel generated from municipal waste per year from the factories in Sveti Juraj and Sveti Kajo located in Solin and Kaštel Sućurac. It is only 3 km from the cathedral of Sv. Duje in Split.

By burning the waste into the air, heavy metals and especially volatile mercury, dioxins and furans which are carcinogenic and mutagenic and cause a variety of diseases, are sent free, causing harm to the most vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women and young children.

Although in Cemex, there is no danger to the population, we do not agree with that. High temperatures in Cemex furnace certainly cause the degradation of numerous compounds, but this does not apply to mercury which is volatile and whose emissions will increase, as has been demonstrated by the study of environmental impacts.

There are also dioxins, one of the most dangerous compounds on the planet, for which the environmental impact study engineers claim that at such high temperatures there is a complete breakdown. However, experts say that at lower temperatures dioxin, when exiting the chimney, is re-created. And it is as mercury and tends to bioaccumulate (accumulated in living organisms).

We also see the problem with the fact that the solution of the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection of the Cement Waste Disposal in Cemex, foresees monitoring the emissions of these highly toxic compounds only 4 times a year in the first year and then only 2 times a year after that! It would be like the police checks the compliance with the traffic rules twice a year and considers it is a base for the rest of 363 days a year!

If we ignored all these impacts on the environment and people’s health, we would not be able to agree with the incineration of waste, because we believe that the fundamental objective of responsible waste management, which is equally and economically justified, reduces waste generation and complies with the principles of separation and recycling/reusing. The use of waste as fuel in cement plants would certainly not contribute to that goal, but would create the need to generate even more waste.

Namely, when we take into account that from 1 ton of municipal waste we get 230 to 500 kg of combustion fuels (so-called RDF / SRF fuel), that Split-Dalmatia County currently produces 158 000 tons of municipal waste, and we will have to recycle at least 50% because of the EU, which means that there remains 79 000 tonnes of waste or potentially a maximum of 39 000 tons of fuel, it is clear that Cemex waste will be supplied from third sources (other counties and foreign countries)?

142 560 TONS 39 000 TONS 103 560 TONS


So not only will we not handle our waste problems effectively, but we will meet the needs of Cemex, which is nothing more than an economic calculation for them (they do not have to buy fuel, we pay them to burn our waste), and Cemex will also import and burn other communal waste and thus further contribute to environmental pollution.

It is for these reasons that the Association Sunce, like the City of Kaštela and the County of Split-Dalmatia, filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court of Split against the Decision of the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection approving the combustion of fuel from municipal waste.

So far, we have succeeded in obtaining a temporary cessation, as the Administrative Court decided in late November to postpone the execution of the decisions of the defendants of the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection until the final conclusion of the administrative dispute.

Because of all this, we certainly intend to pursue our legal struggle against waste incineration with all available legal means.