Current Affairs
Unless refuse separation is carried out properly, the new Ecohive Plant will serve no purpose

In 30 months’ time the plant that generates energy from refuse material at Magħtab is expected to start functioning. Wasteserv Chairperson, Richard Bilocca, said it is important that people continue to separate their refuse otherwise the Ecohive Plant would have no purpose.

During the programme “Insights” transmitted yesterday on TVM, Bilocca said that farmers are being paid about €80,000 for every tomna of agricultural land utilised for the Ecohive Plant at Magħtab.

He said the greatest challenge the country is facing is a change of culture that requires refuse separation as required. He explained that refuse can be recycled is still being disposed off in black bags that are not recycled.

Refuse separation that is going into grey bags currently has to be redoubled. The material being placed in these bags results that out of every 10 kilos, 3.5 kilos are pure refuse. The grey bag should contain such items as cartons and tins but shoes, clothing and all kinds of rubbish are still being placed in these bags and sometimes even dead animals.

Bilocca emphasised the utmost importance of proper separation because if this does not happen the refuse plants initiated will serve for no purpose.

About the expropriation of about 100 tomna of agricultural land, the Chairperson said that about €80,000 has been paid for the expropriation of each tomna to enable the Ecohive Project that will recycle refuse for energy purposes.

So far the most advanced plant is that of waste to energy and the expropriation are being tested while work on other plants is ongoing.

Bilocca said that Wasteserv has completed the investigations in the fire at the Sant Antnin Plant, but the conclusions of the Magisterial Inquiry are still being awaited. He said that part of the reason is that of the improper dumping of refuse.

Bilocca said he had spoken with firemen who said their worst experience during the fire was the ferocity of fire flames that put their lives in danger and virtually made it impossible to deal with them while there was also ongoing danger of explosions. He said that some flames are still evident today because irresponsible still dump unused flares in grey bags.

In a year’s time this plant will be closed down.

Regarding embellishment projects that Wasteserve is carrying out including that on dumps at tal-Qortin in Gozo, the Qormi Valley, the Santa Venera tunnels, at Mosta, Ħamrun and Żabbar, work is ongoing and should be completed by the coming year.