The Malta Independent 20 May 2024, Monday
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Maghtab waste management facilities to take up 70% less land than previously planned

Wednesday, 15 April 2020, 12:48 Last update: about 5 years ago

The new state of the art waste management facilities planned for Maghtab will be taking up a footprint of 82,000 square metres – 70% less than the previously planned 279,000 square metres.

The plans, announced by Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia on Wednesday, will see Wasteserv move all its facilities to a centralised location in Maghtab and see plans for the extension of the landfill shelved.

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As a result of the move, areas previously used by Wasteserv, including Wied Fulija in Zurrieq, Qortin in Gozo and St. Antnin in Marsascala, which add up to 170,000 square metres will be given back to the people in the form of green areas.

The initial plans would have seen the take-up of swathes of agricultural land around Maghtab – plans which prompted farmers to file a judicial protest and block the streets outside Maghtab in protest.

The facilities, which Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia described as state of the art, will aim to drive the country towards a circular economy, with all waste streams being reutilised to their full potential.

The investment includes pillars in waste management such as a waste-to-energy plant which will in itself significantly limit Malta’s landfilling volumes, a new plant for the management of dry recyclables, a plant to treat organic waste to extract energy and produce compost for use in agriculture, as well as the replacement of the clinical and abattoir waste incinerator.

Farrugia said that the project will help Malta reach its recycling targets and also move it away from taking up more land for landfilling in the future. He said that by the end of the year the government will have a long term, ambitions plan for waste management which caters for the years to come.

CEO Richard Bilocca explained that it is now Wasteserv’s job to match the environmental ambition of Malta’s society and to implement this ambitious project in the shortest possible timeframes and at the highest possible standards, to ensure that Malta begins benefiting from the associated environmental benefits.

Farrugia meanwhile said that the project is a crucial link in the comprehensive work being undertaken by the Ministry, which includes a host of actions both of an infrastructural, political and educational nature that will bring about the required leap. It will complement Government’s long-term waste strategy which will be finalised by the end of this year and plan for a shift in mentality towards reducing, reusing, and recycling, he said.

“Malta will finally be in a position to stop its predominant reliance on landfilling and to aggressively turn waste into precious resources, be it energy, fertile agricultural resources, or upcycled products,” Farrugia said.

The Ministry said that the required land for the infrastructure of the project was drastically reduced after taking the farmer’s pleas into consideration.

The original plan to turn 150,000 square metres of land in an extended landfill has been shelved, the Ministry said. Instead, Wasteserv is aiming to have the waste to energy plant in place ahead of what was originally planned and current landfill sites within the existing footprint will be used to their full potential, they added.

The facilities will be situated at Maghtab in a bid to centralise Wasteserv’s operations, thereby increasing efficiency and minimising any adverse environmental impacts of said operations. Areas previously used by Wasteserv, including Wied Fulija in Zurrieq, Qortin in Gozo and St.Antnin in Marsascala, which add up to 170,000m2  will be given back to the people in the form of green areas.

Wasteserv has now been mandated to conduct all the required works including studies to implement this ambitious vision. Specifically, on the crucial waste to energy plant detailed environmental studies are already underway and the procurement process has also been launched in the EU official journal.

 

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