Government invests in turning waste into a resource, Minister says

Bird's eye view of Maghtab facility with MInister Aaron Farrugia in inset

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

State-of-the-art waste management facilities will drive the country towards a circular economy, with all waste streams being reutilised to their full potential, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia said.

The largest-ever investment in the waste management sector will take Malta to a new level, not only in waste management but also in the country’s overall environmental performance and recycling targets.

L-ikbar investiment fl-immaniġġjar tal-iskart

Illum ħabbarna l-ikbar investiment fl-immaniġjar tal-iskart bl-iktar teknoloġija riċenti u faċilitajiet state-of the-art li se jkun qed jieħu lill-pajjiżna ‘l quddiem lejn ekonomija ċirkolari fejn l-iskart se jsir riżorsa għal pajjiż. 💚 Faċilitajiet bħal ta’ Wied Fulija fiż-Zurrieq, il-Qortin f’Għawdex u Sant' Antnin f’Marsaskala ser jingħalqu u jingħataw lura lill-pubbliku f'forma ta' green areas; 💚 impjanti ġodda se jkunu qed jinbnew fiz-żona tal-Magħtab biex l-operat tal-Wasteserv jiġi ċentralizzat; 💚 tiżdied l-effiċjenza loġistika; 💚 tnaqqas l-effetti negattivi fuq l-ambjent; 💚 l-art li se tkun qed tintuża biex isir dan l-investiment se tkun qed titnaqqas b'mod drastiku wara li l-Gvern sema t-tħassib li ressqu l-familji li jghixu jew li għandhom art agrikola f'dawk l-inħawi; 💚 il-proġett ser isir fuq medda ta' 82,000m2 u mhux 279,000m2 kif oriġinarjament propost – se jittieħed inqas minn terz ✅ Dan il-pjan:♻️ Se jkun qed jipproteġi l-ambjent u jgħin biex pajjiżna jilħaq il-miri ta’ riċiklar; ♻️ jinkludi il-bini ta’ impjant Waste-to-Energy li se jkun qed inaqqas id-dipendenza tagħna fuq il-landfilling; ♻️ impjant ġdid għat-trattament ta’ dry recyclables; ♻️ impjant għat-trattament ta’ skart organiku għall-produzzjoni ta’ kompost għall-agirkoltura; ♻️ impjant għal skart kliniku. ♻️ Pajjiżna se jkun f’pożizzjoni li jwaqqaf id-dipendenza tiegħu fuq il-landfilling; ♻️ jibda jdawwar l-iskart f’riżorsa f’forma ta’ enerġija elettrika; ♻️ riżorsi għall-agrikoltura u prodotti riciklati.Dan il-proġett hu ħolqa kruċjali flimkien ma riformi oħrajn li qed jitmexxew mill-Ministeru fil-qasam tal-immaniġġjar tal-iskart. Dawn l-inizjattivi jinkludu miżuri u inizjattivi ta’ natura infrastrutturali, politika u edukattiva li se jwasslu għal bidla fl-imġieba tant mistennija f'dan il-qasam. Dawn il-proġetti se jkunu qed jikkomplimentaw l-istrateġija tal-Gvern fl-immaniġjar tal-iskart li se jiġu finalizzati sal-aħħar ta’ din is-sena. Dan il-pjan se jġib bidla fil-mentalitá tan-nies lejn reducing, reusing, u recycling. ♻️💚

Posted by Aaron Farrugia on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The investment includes pillars in waste management such as the much-needed waste-to-energy plant which will in itself significantly limit our 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. 

Stop reliance on landfills

“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,” Minister Farrugia said.

The required land for the infrastructure of this project was drastically reduced, having taken into consideration the valid pleas from local farming communities. In fact, the project will now have a footprint of 82,000m2 as opposed to the original proposal of 279,000m2. The original plan to turn 150,000m2 of land in an extended landfill has been shelved. 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. 

The facilities will be situated at Magħtab 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 Sant’ Antnin in Marsascala, which add up to 170,000m2  will be given back to the people in the form of green areas.

Ambitious Vision

Wasteserv Malta 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.

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.

The Minister 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 the 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.