Incineration part of European waste strategy, Brussels executive tells MEP

Incineration of non-recyclable waste to avoid landfilling are in line with EU’s circular economy goals, European Commission tells Roberta Metsola

The European Commission confirms that waste-to-energy facilities, including incinerators, had a role to play in the circular economy
The European Commission confirms that waste-to-energy facilities, including incinerators, had a role to play in the circular economy

Incineration can provide an appropriate way of disposing non-recyclable waste, the European Commission has confirmed in a reply to Nationalist Party MEP Roberta Metsola.

Malta is in the process of developing an incinerator to reduce the amount of waste that needs to be landfilled.

Metsola had asked the commission whether member states could continue to make use of EU funds to construct incinerators or waste-to-energy facilities and whether the construction of these facilities were in line with the circular economy goals.

The commission said the choice of waste management installations lies with the member states.

It added that although EU legislation required countries to recycle 65% of their municipal waste and not landfill more than 10%, in theory 35% of waste could be energy recovered, including through incineration.

The Brussels executive confirmed that waste to energy facilities had a role to play in a circular economy context.

Malta’s Wasteserv, a government waste management company, is undertaking the investment to set up a waste-to-energy facility at the Magħtab waste complex.

Wasteserv said in a statement on Tuesday that the commission’s reply justified its course of action.

The company is also building other plants such as an organic processing plant that will transform waste into agricultural compost and a fully-fledged material recovery facility for dry recyclables.

These projects follow other environment-oriented investments as the recent export of 6,550 tonnes of glass and the commissioning of a dry recyclable line which intends to increase Malta’s recycling performance.

READ ALSO: Explainer | Ticking waste bomb: Why does Malta need an incinerator, and why are farmers angry?

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