25,000 square metres of agricultural land in Magħtab to make way for waste facilities
Wasteserv has started the process of enlarging its facilities in Maghtab. About twenty farmers in the area who have about 250,000 square meters of land between them were informed that Wasteserv was considering expropriating this land for its facilities. One of the farmers who spoke to Television Malta expressed anger that farmers will lose farmland for work purposes.
The Minister for the Environment and Planning Aaron Farrugia told Television Malta that the space is required for a number of plants such as incinerators and for waste separation, sixty percent of which will be used for a new engineered landfil.
Minister Farrugia said that because the incinerator is expected to take seven years to complete, Wasteserv will have to find more space to be able to carry out its plan for the handling and treatment of waste.
“The country has clear targets when it comes to recycling; for these goals to be achieved a number of plants are needed – for instance to treat hazardous waste, for the country to have a waste to energy plant, to continue to separate waste and then to process it. This is the reason the country required more space for this.”
Dr Farrugia explained that regarding the land in Maghtab which Wasteserv had set its sights on, 145,000 square meters would be used as a controlled landfill, while just over one hundred thousand square meters will be used as plants for treating and handling waste including as a incinerator .
“That is the direction we are going, we are talking to several people to see what is the best financial model.”
Chalie Sciberras who has spent the last 40 years working the fields in Maghtab, is among the twenty farmers who received notification from WasteServ for the purposes of expropriation. Worried and anxious he complained that that was not what he was promised by Minister Herrera.
“Mr. Herrera has told us that not a single bit of soil would be touched. What has happened now? This is not a question of too little being done. On the contrary too much has been done. This is fatal for us.”
On the other hand, Wasteserv claims the expansion is needed because the space for waste disposal won’t serve for more than two years.