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Spanish firms face waste handling charges

SPAIN: Twenty-two companies are being investigated by Spain’s Civil Guard for handling and exporting scrap refrigeration and air conditioning compressors with no record of correct waste handling.

The companies are suspected of the incorrect management of waste from electrical and electronic equipment which caused the emission of harmful gases.

During the year, 43 companies throughout Spain were inspected and 15,019 compressors, weighing more than 133,000kg, were found that caused contamination. Documentation revealed that nearly 600,000kg of compressors had previously been sent to Pakistan to be dismantled and smelted.

The companies did not have the required authorisations for the treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. There was evidence that the compressors had been cut from appliances without recovering the refrigerant or oil.

The 22 companies located in Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Almería, Málaga, Albacete, Ciudad Real and Mallorca, could face charges of responsibility for a crime against natural resources and the environment, for continued acts of pollution, through the treatment and incorrect marketing of hazardous waste from electrical or electronic equipment.

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