Alteo: stop or else?

Alteo: stop or else?

In Gardanne, the Alteo plant, which produces alumina but also polluting red mud, is in receivership. Should it close, as environmentalists demand? Or continue its peak activity, as begged its 500 employees?

Further investigation.  Alteo: stop or else?

Alteo has supported Gardanne, 21,000 inhabitants, for over a century. But this alumina plant has been making headlines for fifty years: it dumped millions of tons of red mud containing heavy metals in the Mediterranean Sea.

The company has installed a new treatment plant, and claims to have stopped these discharges at sea. The bauxite and soda residues are now stored in a huge landfill a few kilometers north of Gardanne, near Bouc-Bel-Air. Industrial waste, in particular composed of titanium, chromium, vanadium, arsenic, etc. which worries many local residents.

The environment or the job?

Environmentalists are calling for the plant to be closed. Today, Alteo is in receivership, weakened by poor results. Jobs are at stake. Should it close, as environmentalists demand? Or continue its peak activity, as begged by its nearly 500 employees?

A report by Julien Cholin and Guillaume Marque broadcast in “Complément d’études” on November 19, 2020.

> Replays of France Télévisions news magazines are available on the Franceinfo website and its mobile application (iOS&Android), “Magazines” section.