Current Affairs
Government’s views on the challenge of construction waste

The Government is considering various alternatives to the challenge of construction waste.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has insisted that in the immediate situation, the construction industry has to carry its responsibility.

Dr Muscat added that longer term solutions have to be found, also because excavation for the Malta-Gozo tunnel will generate as much as three years of waste from the construction industry.

The problem of the disposal of construction waste continues to persist. In comments to the media, the Prime Minister declared it was unacceptable for the private sector not to shoulder its responsibility in this issue.

“We have given incentives to make tariffs reachable and open to everyone. If this does not happen, Government will be taking measures to ensure that construction waste disposal is carried out in a more organised manner.”

The Prime Minister discarded the possibility that an area for speculation would be created through land reclamation. Dr Muscat stated, however, that an ambitious proposal exists for an artificial island.

“This can be created outside the country, and used for relocation of industries which pollute. I think it is very adventurous. Should we exclude it if it is feasible? I say we should not exclude anything.”

Whilst referring to reclamation projects implemented in the past, including in Marsa, Imsida and the Freeport, the Prime Minister indicated his preference for reclamation to be made close to the waterfront.

“My preferred option, however, is the option used and still in use some years ago, and for which there are arguments in favour.”

Dr Muscat added that this could create open areas, including promenades for the people. Dr Muscat indicated he was not in favour  of continued use of a deep sea area which had been identified by the British for disposal of construction waste.

The Prime Minister said this challenge would grow once work started on the Malta-Gozo Tunnel.

“Even more so if we excavate for the metro, which we have to go for at some stage, as this will mean digging up all of Malta. Would we then have to dispose of all this waste in the sea? Those are the real issues on the long term planning.”

Whilst studies are ongoing, it has been reported that this issue will be on the Cabinet agenda in the coming weeks.

 

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