Ta’ Qali eco-disaster: Bonnici Brothers ‘unaware’, Police silent, PA Acts

Following exclusive revelations by Newsbook.com.mt of massive and unchecked dumping of construction waste in one of Malta’s prime recreational and picturesque spots, Ta’ Qali and notwithstanding the silence of the police we can now reveal that the illegal dumping on the 16th November was cut short thanks to a police inspection. Our sources informed us also of the general lines of the short conversation between the police and the truck driver.

The Planning Authority, on the other hand, took the matter seriously and expedited a sealing off of the premises, pending further action.


Watch: An orgy of illegal dumping at Ta’ Qali

Massive illegal dumping: where? when?

In the meantime Bonnici Brothers Group (BBG) answered our email saying that they were not aware of the illegal activity and asked us for more information. New information based on what our journalists saw and what other sources told us is in this article.

‘I am just parking:  truck driver to police

On the 16th November, three large trucks, which entered Ta’ Qali from the side street near the Ventures bus stop, were observed dumping construction waste. A  bulldozer which accompanied the trucks  was levelling the waste.

Around 23:15h a police car stopped a big truck roughly close to the junction between the road leading to the Aviation Museum and that leading to the Crafts Village. The truck, most likely,entered Ta’ Qali from the road close to the Infetti roundabout on the Rabat side. At least one other large truck, whose registration numbers are given further down,  was observed entering through the same route.

A police car was observed at this entrance and a female police officer spoke to the truck driver. When asked to state his business, the driver answered  “I am just parking”.  The official was sceptical. “Parking at this hour and driving a truck full of construction waste?”, was the reaction. The driver insisted that he just wanted to park. The police accompanied him for some time and when they left, the truck driver gave the alarm and the operation was aborted before midnight.

A similar operation took place in October. Between 40 to 50 trips were made and the dumping and levelling of the construction waste went on till the early hours of the day.

The sound of silence

Newsbook.com.mt sent emails to the Community and Media Relations Unit of the Police.  We asked them to confirm whether the police inspection came as a consequence of a report on illegal dumping or whether this was a routine visit.

Newsbook.com.mt has not received the required information.

Bonnici Bros Group asks for more

Newsbook.com.mt also sent an email to Bonnici Brothers Group (BBG). We asked them to confirm or deny whether on 16th  November trucks from their company and a bulldozer as well as trucks from other companies were part of an operation planning to  dump  construction debris in the area close to the former Southern Concrete Ltd. We also asked them to provide any permit that they may have allowing them to carry out this dumping. We informed them that journalists from Newsbook.com.mt witnessed the operation.

Gilbert Bonnici, whom, the BBG website cites as Managing Director, even if this designation was not shown on the email we received, replied that the company is not aware of this activity. He asked for more information so that he could inquire internally.

Since BBG asked for more information, Newsbook.com.mt is seeking to help out this company with more indications and questions that can help Mr Bonnici in his internal investigation.

  1. Mr Bonnici can check with the police whether the truck they stopped belonged to the company called Fahrenheit which also does work for the Bonnici Brothers Group.
  2. He can investigate whether the last digit of the three trucks mentioned in our report were ‘4’, ‘3’ and ‘8’ respectively and that these trucks are part of the fleet of his company as the letters on the registration plate indicate.
  3. He could ask internally whether the construction waste of the project his company is doing at Burmarrad near the Hard Rocks company is by any chance finding itself at Ta’ Qali.
  4. Is a truck whose registration plate contains the letters ‘FWL’ doing any work for Bonnici Brothers?

Aiming at ISO certification pro-environment

Bonnici Brothers Group Limited (BBG) founded in 1978, claims to aim at producing ‘…sustainable services which exceed client expectations’. Their values include the fostering of a ‘positive legacy’ through ‘unlocking the potential of material resources’. Indeed, BBG’s website cites that they are in the process of obtaining ISO14001 certification in environmental management which, among other things seeks ‘The implementation of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation’.

Site of dumping ground with the football pitch super-imposed on it showing the enormity of the dumping (Source: PA)
The Ta’ Qali dumping ground (blue) with measurements superimposed with the football pitch (green) too give an indication of dimensions (Source: PA)

Massive degradation: The PA acts

The photo above shows the dumping site with the field of Ta’ Qali stadium superimposed on it. This gives our readers an idea of the enormity of the dumping site.

Newsbook passed the published information to the Planning Authority in view of the fact that the Stop and Enforcement Notice issued earlier this year is being flagrantly and massively breached. The Planning Authority took immediate action and sealed off the premises pending further action which the authority is empowered to take.