Land reclamation can’t solve construction waste crisis, PD says

The Democratic Party said it was worrying that Malta ‘still lacks a strategy on construction sustainability’

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

The Democratic Party has called on the government to address what it claims is the lack of a strategy on construction sustainability, insisting that land reclamation wasn’t an option.

“For over a year, the Democratic Party has been asking the government to draw up a long-term strategy. Land reclamation is not a solution of a cyclical economy and in this respect, government lacks visions,” the PD said in a statement on Saturday.

It said that construction needed to be considered a resource, adding that Malta still lacked a strategy on construction sustainability, despite having a sustainable development strategy.

Last week, BusinessToday reported that the price of dumping construction waste had risen to €15 per tonne for separated waste and €17 per tonne for mixed waste, causing uproar within the construction sector.

Environment Minister Jose Herrera urged industry to find a solution, warning that he would use his powers to seize quarries with a permit to receive construction waste.

READ ALSO: Construction industry boom and lack of dumping space is creating a lucrative, quasi-monopoly for a handful of quarry operator

“There are only 16 potential quarries that can be possibly refilled with construction waste. The long-term solution lies in regulating the way earth excavation and demolishing of building is performed,” the PD said.

It added that the “take-make-throw away attitude” wasn’t a way forward, especially since stone isn’t a renewable resource.

“We have depleted our limestone as a precious resource. It is time that this is recovered rather than savagely bull-dosed through during demolition. All building material and products can be reused in another form thus reducing waste,” the PD said.

“It is useless having lobbyist Malta Developers Association (MDA) crying wolf when by means of construction sustainability raw material can be conserved by re-use and recyclability. In so doing we will also reduce energy and CO2-emissions for production, manufacturing and reduction of waste.”

The PD called on the government to address the issue in the upcoming budget.

Speaking to MaltaToday last week, MDA president Sandro Chetcuti cast doubts on the minister’s claim that 10 new quarry permits had been issued so far this year.

“As far as I am aware there are no quarries with a permit to receive waste were not doing so over the past few months. But we also have to keep in mind that some quarries are owned by construction companies that are using them to dump their own waste from projects they are involved in and others are still extracting stone,” Chetcuti said.

He said the MDA was willing to sit down with the government and discuss a solution.

READ MORE: Building industry faces emergency over lack of construction waste dumping sites - Sandro Chetcuti

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