[WATCH] FAA, ADPD's Cacopardo and Maghtab residents rally against incinerator

Flimkien ghal-Ambjent Ahjar head Astrid Vella says incinerator is ‘an admission of failure to the recycling process’

Residents rally against incinerator
Residents rally against incinerator

ADPD leader Carmel Cacopardo, together with Flimkien ghal-Ambjent Ahjar and residents from Bahar ic-Caghaq have submitted their objections to the Maghtab incinerator in response to the Environment Impact Assessment currently under public consultation.

During a press conference, Astrid Vella from FAA argued that the incinerator is “an admission of failure to the recycling process.” She criticized government for promoting the idea of a circular economy while in the same breath opting for an incinerator.

"If an object is burned it is no longer usable," Vella said. "The incinerator is a negation of the circular economy."

Astrid Vella and Carmel Cacopardo addressing residents
Astrid Vella and Carmel Cacopardo addressing residents

ADPD leader Carmel Cacopardo gave an overview of the objections submitted in relation to the project's Environment Impact Assessment. He questions why recycling initiatives were not considered as an alternative to an incinerator, especially in light of Malta's failure to reach EU recycling targets.

He further noted conflicts of interest among members and consultants of the EIA board, specifically Professor Alan Deidun and Mario Schembri who hold positions in ERA and Greenpak respectively.

In light of these objections, he said the EIA should be declared null and void.

While the EU's recycling target is set at 50% of all recyclable waste, Malta only recycles 12% of waste materials. Both Cacopardo and Vella argued that an incinerator would demotivate people from recycling, and authorities should instead be investing in recycling efforts in order to reach these EU waste targets.

Residents voicing their disapproval at the project
Residents voicing their disapproval at the project

"This money should be invested in recycling - had we reached our waste targets we wouldn't be considering an incinerator," one resident said.

Residents were also frustrated over the choice of location for the incinerator. "This is prime land," one of them commented. "Even if government insists on an incinerator, is this the best location?"

"The government promised us that we would have a family park here. Now there’s been a complete turnaround - instead of a family park we’ll have an incinerator. We feel betrayed," another resident said.

Other NGOs expressed doubts over the incinerator, with Friends of the Earth Malta and Moviment Graffitti submitting a joint recommendation on the project.

READ ALSO: Incineration a step forward, but waste reduction should be priority – NGOs