The Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning said that a plan to regulate the sector of construction waste was deemed necessary in light of the fact that the market did not function in the way it was expected to, with the consequence that quarries in our country were not keeping up with the amount of waste being generated from infrastructural projects by the government at the offered cost.
In a statement, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said that a plan is being coordinated with the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA).
Minister Farrugia explained that an exercise was conducted on two levels; individual meetings with a large number of quarry owners, as well as meetings with the Malta Developers Association (MDA), which represents the majority of quarry owners and an agreement was reached with the MDA for the quarry owners to be given a tax exemption, through which they will be taxed only 5% on the condition that they accept the material at €12 per tonne.
These measures will help ERA to regulate the industry, said Minister Aaron Farrugia.
Another measure will be that in the process of the development permission, with the commencement notice and the disposal site where the waste is to be deposited by the developer needs to be identified.
Conditions in contracts for use of quarries, and in permits for operation and use, will be scrutinised and enforced by the responsible entities.
The Minister said that the government still has the possibility of depositing clean material from the industry in a specific area in territorial waters. Farrugia said that this site was identified in the 1960s, and was used many times in the past, with the most recent case being construction waste primarily from projects close to the coast.