A court in Torrox last month agreed that Nerja’s mayor, José Albert Armijo, and eight others should stand trial in the case of the illegal rubbish dump at Rio de la Miel. In addition, the mayor, another councillor and Nerja Town Hall were ordered to pay a liability bond of €10.7 million.
The landfill site is an old quarry within the Natural Park of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama. For over 15 years, uncontrolled dumping of construction, demolition and gardening waste, including hazardous materials, led to a build up of more than 800,000 cubic metres. In the years before its final closure in September 2016, the Junta issued at least four orders to close the site which later expired, while ecologists and local residents made repeated demands for action to be taken.
The Málaga Prosecutor has called for the Mayor and other accused individuals each to be handed a two year prison sentence, plus 18 months disqualification and a fine of €7,200. The Prosecutor claims that in early 2000, the City Council verbally arranged the management of dumping waste with certain construction companies. The claim extends to Nerja Town Council which is said to have dumped rubble and garden waste at the site.
Last month, the Junta de Andalucía announced plans to seal the site and restore the area during the last quarter of this year. The cost is expected to be about €2 million.