Current Affairs
Energy generated from refuse: incinerator will be at Magħtab

Magħtab, which for some years now has been associated with being a locality for refuse, is to hot another plant for the management of refuse. The Minister for the Environment, Jose Herrera, revealed that the incinerator for the regeneration of energy is to be located at Magħtab and the tender for its construction estimated to be €200 million is to be issued early next year. Interviewed during the programme ‘Dissett’, Dr Herrera also revealed that following an extensive study zones have been highlighted where land reclamation from the sea may take place. He said he is also authorised to exercise authority on space in quarries used for the dumping of construction materials.

Following technical reports a call for tenders will now be issued for the incinerator, the Minister stating the country needs such an incinerator to manage refuse material problems. He said the waste-to-energy plant will be located at Magħtab and designs are in hand enabling the tender to be issued.

Asked whether the Opposition is agreeing to the introduction of such an incinerator the Deputy Leader of the Nationalist Party, David Agius, said the utility of such a plant is not excluded.

He said many points have to be considered but an overall investigation of the situation indicates a positive need.

Regarding land reclamation from the sea, Minister Herrera said a study costing €11 million has been completed of the topography around the Maltese Islands. He said six sites have been identified but did not want to reveal the areas indicated.

He said that to avoid polemics he did not want to indicate the sites at the moment but the relative document will be issued in a few weeks. He said however there are five or six places where such reclamation would be sustainable and environmentally tenable.

Asked about construction waste materials, Minister Herrera said this week the Cabinet his Ministry is authorised to manage spaces in a number of quarries. He said that in a few days, through Wasteserv, these will be receiving construction waste in agreement with the quarry owners.

He said he believes that once these operations go ahead, the price monopoly will fall and prices will also drop.

While domestic refuse collection will remain free of charge, the Minister said he is to introduce legislation that everybody will be obliged to separate waste. He said that refuse collection from hotels and restaurants will no longer remain free of charge.

He said commercial establishments are to assume the polluter pays principle and therefore his proposed legislation will detail that new establishments will pay.

Minister Herrera also spoke of electronic waste that is being loaded on the Government. He said the two schemes that carried the obligation that such material should be exported are no longer and if these refrain from exporting such material for which they are being paid, the framework of the schemes will have to be changed and payment withheld. He said the Government will export bulky material and electronic waste.

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