The Government announced the introduction of schemes to provide incentives for the commercialisation process of converting the unused construction stone into a new stone, through a process based on research by the University’s Engineering Faculty.
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said that the government is committed to start the stone reconstruction process into a new stone. Speaking during a seminar on the transformation of the economy into a circular one, Minister Schembri said that through political will and with incentives, the government wants to facilitate the process to establish a market for reconstituted stone.
“We assist the industry also with schemes to commercialise the stone into a feasible one, including with assistance to developers and stone producers of this waste, while creating a balance between process and environment”.
Malta Industrial Parks chief executive, Karl Azzopardi, said that the construction waste is a challenge due, among others, to lack of space. The MIP supported research for the treatment and conversion of unused stone into new material for its re-use in construction.
Professor Dione Buhagiar from the University of Malta said that waste generated by the construction industry is turned into fine dust and mixed with chemicals to produce the new stone, which can also be given particular qualities for its re-use. Asked about the feasibility of commercialised reconstructed stone when the recycled product is 20% higher that the natural stone value, Prof. Buhagiar said that costs depend on many factors.
“We have to see who much will manufacture invest to make the product; one has to see the waste in quarries for its use, by how much it will be sold back. It depends on various factors, so there are two parameters that are still unknown, we only know costs of this once we see the economies of scale”.
Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said that this transition should not be considered as an obstacle but a catalyst for innovation to create new niche for business and green jobs.
The seminar was held following the conclusion of the public consultation on the Construction Waste Strategy bill.