The Civil Guard has investigated 22 companies located in the provinces of Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Almería, Málaga, Albacete, Ciudad Real and Mallorca, as allegedly responsible 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.
SEPRONA agents have developed the Redivivu operation nationally and internationally for more than a year. During that time, documentation has been examined indicating that almost 600,000 kilos of compressors have been shipped to Pakistan without being able to prove proper decontamination.
In addition, the researchers have located more than 133,000 kilos of compressors (15,019 units) in the companies inspected in Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Almería, Málaga, Albacete, Ciudad Real and Mallorca.
The total sum of the compressors sent to Pakistan and those found in the national territory would suppose an approximate emission of 35,385 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The investigation began in February 2020 during the inspection of a waste management company, when the agents discovered that the treatment and commercialization they gave to the components from the treatment for the decontamination of electrical or electronic equipment was totally incorrect.
Suspecting that there could be more companies involved, it was decided to investigate the places of origin and transit of these and other wastes, as well as their final destination. In total, 43 companies were inspected in the provinces of Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Almería, Málaga, Albacete, Ciudad Real and the islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza.
In many of them, non-decontaminated compressors were located and did not have the required authorizations for the treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RAEEs). However, the most common method was that of "cannibalization", which consists of disassembling the appliances by breaking them abruptly or cutting the tubes of the refrigerators directly, in order to remove the copper or other valuable pieces from the interior.
From the study of the documentation, it was found that the destination of the compressors was Pakistan, where they would finally be valued in a dismantling plant for subsequent smelting.