Maghtab to host state-of-the-art waste management facility to reduce landfilling

Environment ministry announces ‘largest ever’ investment in waste management after drastically reducing land take-up from original plans

The environment ministry has announced what it is billing as the largest ever investment in the waste management sector that it said will take Malta to a new level in overall environmental performance and recycling targets.

The investment includes a much-needed waste-to-energy plant that will significantly limit 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. 

“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,” environment minister Aaron 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 82,000sq.m as opposed to the original proposal of 279,000sq.m. The original plan to turn 150,000sq.m 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 Maghtab in a bid to centralise Wasteserv’s operations, 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 170,000sq.m  will be given back to the people in the form of green areas.

Minister Aaron Farrugia (centre) with Wasteserv CEO Richard Bilocca
Minister Aaron Farrugia (centre) with Wasteserv CEO Richard Bilocca

Wasteserv CEO Richard Bilocca said it was now Wasteserv’s job to match the environmental ambition of Malta’s society and implement the ambitious project in the shortest possible timeframes and at the highest possible standards.

“The project is a crucial link in the comprehensive work being undertaken by theministry,  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,” Aaron Farrugia said.

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