Exploration #217 Zuccherificio di Argelato. The zuccherificio di Argelato (Argelato sugar factory) was built in 1970, probably by the Gruppo Saccarifero Veneto (formerly Montesi). The first production campaign took place in 1971. In 1987, the plant was used to process more than six million quintals of beet, using more than one million cubic metres of water from the water table, in addition to that drawn from the Reno river. The end of production coincided with the last campaign in 1991. The factory was later emptied of all machinery and the area abandoned.

The sugar factory employed hundreds of employees, some seasonal, some permanent. A large part of these came from Tuscany, another part from Argelato and surrounding towns, others from closed factories in other regions. It is said that work here was really well paid and allowed employees to maintain a more than decent standard of living.
But even in the face of this economic prosperity, it was not possible to overlook the unbearable unpleasant smells that resulted from the particular way in which sugar was extracted during beet processing and the resulting putrefaction of organic pollutants in the waste water.

On the south and east sides are nine large tanks, about four metres deep. Despite the bad smell, the presence of large pools of water rich in microorganisms attracted many animals, especially birds. For this reason, following the closure of the plant and subsequent reclamation, the area has been recognised as a Z.P.S. (Special Protection Area) of the Natura 2000 Network project and named ‘Bacini ex-zuccherificio di Argelato e Golena del Fiume Reno’ (former sugar refinery basins of Argelato and the floodplain of the Reno River).
(source: www.storiedipianura.it).

You could also have a look to my exploration at the Zuccherificio di Cecina.