Construction industry facing ‘imminent paralysis’, MDA warns

Hundreds of excavation and demolition contractors are at a standstill with nowhere to legally dump construction waste

Construction activity has led to high volumes of waste being generated but no places where to dump it
Construction activity has led to high volumes of waste being generated but no places where to dump it

Excavation and demolition contractors cannot find any legal dumping sites for construction waste and the industry risks “imminent paralysis”, the Malta Developers Association warned. 

The warning follows similar cautions issued over the past couple of months as dumping prices in the only two quarries accepting construction waste started to rise.

However, the MDA is now lamenting that the problem is no longer a situation of escalating dumping costs pushing up property prices but members simply not finding any dumping sites that will accept their construction waste at any cost.

 “The emergency situation over the shortage of dumping sites for construction waste, has now reached critical proportions as some 400 excavation and demolition contractors are facing a total standstill as they cannot find any legal dumping solution at any price,” the association said on Tuesday.

The warning precedes a conference on the property market that will be held tomorrow, and which is expected to be addressed by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The MDA appealed to the government to take “immediate and definitive action” on the problem, which it insisted was not caused solely by private construction projects.

“The industry cannot be left in limbo indefinitely,” the MDA said, adding there were substantial public projects underway that generated construction waste.

There are a number of quarries with a permit to receive waste but only two were doing so. Others belong to large construction companies that are using them for their own waste, while in other instances quarries are still being used to extract stone.

The government has warned that it will expropriate quarry space to solve the problem unless the private sector finds its own solution.

Another possibility being considered is the dumping of construction waste at sea in a location earmarked for the purpose off Malta’s south eastern coast.

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