‘Hazardous’ white goods stored in Iklin until new Hal Far facility ready

Storage of over 500 tonnes of white goods was in breach of ERA permit condition, Wasteserv said

Over 500 tonnes of white goods and electronic equipment have been stored at a site in Iklin by national waste agency Wasteserv, confirming it had breached a permit by the Environment and Resources Authority.

The permit stipulated that storage of hazardous waste must “not exceed 49 tons at any given time”. 

The statement came in response to comments by Nationalist Party MP Jason Azzopardi who said in parliament that tonnes of white goods were being stored at an illegal facility run by Wasteserv.

Azzopardi had said the facility formed part of the Bitmac batching plant, which was meant to hold waste only temporarily until it was exported for recycling abroad. 

Electrical and electronic equipment, such as discarded white goods, are categorised as a form of hazardous waste. Wasteserv said the decision to move the items to Iklin was done to ensure potential EU funding for a large facility, which it wants to build in Hal Far, was not put at risk.

The company has exported 516.9 tons of the material between January and September, with another 525.4 tones being stored at the Iklin storage facility. 

Wasteserv said the waste being stored at the Iklin site was not “deemed to be highhly flammable as it is very difficult for the material to self-ignite. Furthermore, the material is being stored at a sufficient distance from the batching plant.”

It said it would be unlikely that a fire on one end would affect the other. “Wasteserv has submitted an application to the Planning Authority and also applied for an IPPC (pollution prevention control) permit for a warehouse within the Iklin facility.” 

Wasteserv said this was done until the Multi-Material Recovery Facility in Hal Far was operational. “The recently launched infrastructural project with an investment of €21.8 million will be ready within two years. This facility will process different types of materials apart from WEEE.”

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