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2,236 Meat Packing Plants That Sentenced Nietos To Jail

Byadmin

Dec 31, 2020

A scrap shredder chews all metals like crunchy food: if a car is put into it, the machine easily chews it down into pieces of a few centimeters, which are then separated by types of materials for recycling.

In 2015 the Supreme Court sentenced businessman Antonio Nieto Jaime and his son to two and a half years in prison for illegally shredding 2,236 refrigerators in Madrid without administrative authorization, an environmental crime for containing these household appliances harmful gases that must be treated with measures special protection.

It was a very notorious case since it was the first time that someone in Spain was sentenced to prison for generating greenhouse emissions. From the waste sector it is said that it was “an exemplary ruling”, “a punch on the table”, against fraud in the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment.

His lawyer, Jacobo Teijelo, goes further and assures that “he went looking for a head to set an example.” Five years later, the Government has just pardoned the severely ill businessman, claiming “reasons of justice and equity.”

At the time of the conviction, Antonio Nieto Jaime was one of the main scrap metal entrepreneurs in Madrid. His story is that of the scrap dealer who manages to prosper from below knowing how to make money from what is useless for others.

Take advantage of the most valuable part of waste, metals. In some way, his case represents the evolution of the more traditional model of waste management, compared to the systems established much more recently in application of new laws.

As the Supreme Court’s ruling details, from 2007 to 2010 the companies that Nieto and his son ran were engaged in the purchase of refrigerators without the necessary authorization for the management of hazardous waste. “Once the refrigerators were in their facilities,

At the time, the worst gases that could be found in refrigerators were chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which although they had been banned in the EU for damaging the ozone layer in 1995they were still in old devices manufactured before that date, but the most modern already used cyclopentane, much less harmful, on a regular basis.

The correct way to treat waste from these appliances is to extract these gases in special chambers to decontaminate them before grinding them. However, the Nietos put them directly into their scrap shredder to later sell the metals to foundries.

Although they were not caught doing it, remains of refrigerators were found in their facilities and it was estimated that 2,236 of these devices had been shredded based on the data provided by the supplier companies and the key testimony in the trial of another of the convicted persons who reached a agreement with the prosecutor,

The ruling does not stop at how many of these refrigerators could still be the old ones with CFCs and how many of the more modern ones with cyclopentane, but it is accepted that the destruction of those 2,236 refrigerators released into the atmosphere the equivalent of 3,378 tons of CO2.

To find out what we are talking about, this amount of gas that causes climate change is similar to what would come out of the exhaust pipes of about 1,100 new cars during a whole year. Why were the Nietos sentenced to jail and other large emitters that generate millions of tons of CO2 a year in Spain are not prosecuted?

As specified by the Supreme Court, reducing the release of these gases “requires a strict prohibition of some emissions and simultaneously tolerating others that could gradually decrease.” “There are similar behaviors – also harmful – but tolerated by the order for social demands.

These are not criminal, but not because they do not cause damage to the environment, but because they have administrative and legal support by virtue of political and regulatory decisions that assess pros and cons. When you do not have that authorization, the criminal type displays all its effectiveness ”.

“It was a prospective justice, it is not that a dead person is discovered and a murderer is sought, but that a murderer is found and then the dead is searched,” alleges the lawyer Teijelo, who defended Nieto’s case before the Supreme Court and has taken his pardon.

“The problem is that then there was a great mess with the treatment of electrical and electronic waste, a simultaneous operation was carried out in the largest scrap yards because it was the end of the chain, where it was easier to find something”, says the lawyer, that says that the case also coincided with a change in legal criteria to begin to criminally treat these crimes in waste management.

In appeals before the Supreme Court, the defendants – apart from the Nieto, an employee who worked for them and two managers of companies that supplied them with refrigerators— protested that they were the only ones who had been sentenced until then in Spain for generating greenhouse gas emissions, to which the high court responded that “In all forms of crime there will always be a first time.”

However, the magistrates did significantly lower the penalties they had imposed in the first instancethe Provincial Court of Madrid , considering that the aggravating circumstance of clandestine activity could not be applied.

Nieto’s son has already served his prison sentence, but his own had to be suspended due to illness even before the government’s pardon arrived.

“It is more than deserved, it has not only been a pardon for humanitarian reasons, there has also been repentance and a restorative part,” the lawyer emphasizes, emphasizing the fact that after being convicted the businessman promoted and financed an initiative to help to the nearly 400 companies of the Spanish Federation of Recovery and Recycling (FER) to adapt to environmental regulations.

“Yes, it is true, he promoted that there was a guide, a tool so that companies would not forget to accomplish anything,” comments Alicia García-Franco, general director of the FER, who explains that globally there are about 14,000 norms in environment.

“The sentence was exemplary, the pardon seems correct to me,” highlights the representative of the reclaimers and recyclers, who believes that this whole case caused many things to change in the sector. However, García-Franco insists that proper waste management does not depend only on the final part of which businessmen like the Nietos deal with.

“From the sector we are insisting that the responsibility of the producer not only begins when the waste is generated, but when it is designed. You should not make a device that cannot be recycled ”, he emphasizes. García-Franco insists that proper waste management does not depend only on the final part of which businessmen such as the Nietos deal with.

“From the sector we are insisting that the responsibility of the producer not only begins when the waste is generated, but when it is designed. You should not make a device that cannot be recycled ”, he emphasizes. García-Franco insists that proper waste management does not depend only on the final part of which businessmen such as the Nietos deal with.

“From the sector we are insisting that the responsibility of the producer not only begins when the waste is generated, but when it is designed. You should not make a device that cannot be recycled ”, he emphasizes.

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