The Malta Independent 2 February 2023, Thursday
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Government to implement €150m waste to energy project; opposition declines to take part

Julian Bonnici Friday, 15 September 2017, 12:27 Last update: about 6 years ago

The government is set to introduce a waste to energy scheme, with a committee given a deadline for the end of the year to present a final proposal, Environment Minister Jose Herrera announced today.

The project is expected to cost between €100 to €150 million and will take six to seven years to complete.

The commission, the minister said, will consist of technical individuals, experts and representatives from eNGOs.

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The minister revealed that PN spokesperson for the Environment Karol Aquilina informed him that the opposition will decline to form part of the committee

The committee will be made up of the following individuals: Chairman - CEO of Wasteserv Tonio Montebello; Kevin Gatt from the ministry for the environment, Kevin Merceica from ERA; Alfred Mifsud, Alex Sciberras, Prof Edward Mallia and Mario Galea de Giovanni

Foreign experts from the EU commission will also be giving their input.

Waste to energy technology recovers the energy found within materials, typically through an incinerator or combustion. It has been implemented in some European countries with resounding success.

The minister said that while this was not an easy decision to take, the urgency surrounding the issue meant that the government had to take action immediately.

It was only recently that it was announced that landfills in Malta would reach full capacity in two years time.

Herrera revealed that the project would take from six to seven years to complete, and when facing questions on the press concerning what the government intended to do until the project was finished, the minister said that there would be temporary solutions.

He explained that hazardous wastes will be exported, which would delay the landfills filling up by two years, and that an animal waste landfill will also be used, buying a further four years.

Pressed on a location for the project, the minister said that no decision has been made, but insisted that it will be in an area the prejudices the least amount of people.

There are also concerns of the negative effects the project will have on air quality, but the minister insisted that the benefits greatly outweigh the consequences.

“From an environmental aspect this is totally acceptable. We generate about 10 football pitches of waste per year. This needs to be tackled.”

The minister conceded that while to project will certainly help the situation, it would only solve about 40% of the problem, and stressed the importance of increasing enforcement and recycling.

“Our obligation to recycle will remain and it is our duty to educate the public more.”

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