El Carrasco: they warn that failures in the landfill would be affecting nearby ecosystems and rivers

El Carrasco: they warn that failures in the landfill would be affecting nearby ecosystems and rivers. Photo: bucaramanga.gov.co

Since last August 12, environmental entities and even the community itself have had their eyes set on the controversial El Carrasco landfill, which covers the city of Bucaramanga. After the pull and loosen that occurs regarding its closure, the issue has not been carried out because the city has no other option to deposit its waste.

In the last hours, a technical visit by the Attorney General’s Office to the El Carrasco landfill was known, from which several indications were detached regarding the waste treatment that is currently taking place, despite the fact that it should be closed since last August 10, by decision of the 15th Administrative Court of Bucaramanga.

After the Public Ministry, mayors of the metropolitan area and the Regional Autonomous Corporation for the Defense of the Bucaramanga Plateau, CDMB, made a technical visit to the final disposal cells in El Carrasco, the control body issued a report for disciplinary purposes ,

In said analysis, to the current situation of the landfill, breaches and alleged omissions on the part of local leaders who continue to dispose of El Carrasco were evidenced, despite the closure order, which has been stalled since August 17, due to the decree 0103 in which the public calamity was declared, managing to give six months of use while solutions are found.

“The current conditions of El Carrasco were verified taking into account that they continue to dump garbage and it was possible to reveal situations that could put strategic ecosystems and the health of the inhabitants at risk”, confirmed Olga Lucía Patín, deputy attorney for environmental and agrarian affairs, reported Blu Radio.

Likewise, the control entity indicated that in the garbage dump there is a lack of environmental control in the disposal, since the new volumes, drainage of gases and leachates, lack a programming and technical consistency.

Due to the shortcomings in the adjustments, the Attorney General’s Office asked the Regional Autonomous Corporation for the Defense of the Bucaramanga Plateau, CDMB, which took over the monitoring of the sanitary landfill, to implement control strategies for the waste disposal operation.

“During the visit, the Public Ministry warned about the need to carry out a hydraulic and geotechnical study duly approved by the environmental entity, regarding the diversion of the El Carrasco stream, which was prosecuted by pipe and box culvert, in order to protect this important body of water ”, the disciplinary body pointed out.

On the other hand, the local newspaper Vanguardia reported that a new judicial order is known, in which the mayors were asked to report on November 10, what the contingency plans will be for the final disposal of garbage, since again the final closure of the sanitary landfill was ordered.

Why did you order the closure of the El Carrasco landfill in Bucaramanga?

According to the report by the newspaper El Tiempo, the El Carrasco landfill began to function in 1978 as an open-air landfill, without any type of technification in the handling of garbage. Years later, around it, housing developments began to be built, what is now known as the El Porvenir neighborhood, inhabitants of the sector who bought their homes in this area did not realize the repercussions of the landfill and indicated that they had also been deceived, therefore that over time they began to suffer different health and environmental problems because they are less than 500 meters from the dump.

Given the effects on this population, In 1990, garbage management began in such a way as to mitigate the effects on the residents’ health, however, in 2002 they filed a popular action before the Fourth Administrative Court, Judicial instance that denied in the first instance denied the claims of the neighbors who claimed that the closure of the garbage dump was necessary.

Faced with the ruling, the community appealed and the process was referred to the Administrative Court of Santander, which in 2009 ordered the closure of the garbage dump and in 2011, in a second instance ruling, corroborated the decision and set September 30 of that year as the closing date for El Carrasco.

After several years of fighting to keep it in service and fighting with extensions, the end of the dump should be a reality, and although there is currently talk of the solution of the sanitary landfill in Aguachica, in Cesar, the authorities will have to define whether they comply or not the judge’s order.


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