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MALTATODAY 18 September 2022

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8 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 18 SEPTEMBER 2022 JAMES DEBONO NEWS Waste emergency Thank you... for having bought this newspaper The good news is that we're not raising the price of our newspaper We know times are still hard, but we have pledged to keep giving our readers quality news they deserve, without making you pay more for it. So thank you, for making it your MaltaToday Support your favourite newspaper with a special offer on online PDF subscriptions. Visit or scan the QR code Subscriptions can be done online on Same-day delivery at €1 for orders up to 5 newspapers per address. Subscribe from €1.15 a week Same-day print delivery from Miller Distributors mt CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 THE Magħtab landfill is the only disposal option for non-hazardous waste in a country where only 11% of waste is recycled and where most waste is landfilled in breach of EU targets set by the Landfill Directive. It is estimated that the Għallis landfill currently has a remain- ing void space of circa 300,000 cubic metres. A previous per- mit to recontour the eastern side of Għallis approved in 2019 had already gained an additional 9 to 12 months of landfill void space, by adding its capacity by 315,000 cubic metres. But the remaining landfill void "is expected to be filled rapidly, given current waste deposition rates", the case of- ficer's report states. The proposed development involves an increase in the vertical height of the landfill profile to augment its volume capacity. The aim is to create an increased void space of just under 850,000cb.m for dispos- al of waste by raising the land- fill contours. The availability of new void space is deemed essential to avoid a disruption of waste services. Moreover, the pro- posed increase in height of the landfill is considered as an al- ternative to the uptake of more land adjacent to the landfill. The report refers to alterna- tive disposal technologies such as the waste-to-energy plant, which is still under develop- ment. "To allow for sufficient time to develop such alternative waste disposal options, ob- tain the required regulatory permits, and construct the re- quired infrastructure, it is im- perative that the lifetime of the Għallis landfill be extended as far as possible." In the absence of this, the in- cinerator will not be in place before available landfill void space is exhausted. Moreover, the case officer warns that despite the intro- duction of alternative waste disposal facilities, a landfill will still be required for those waste streams for which there are no viable recovery or recy- cling options, and which are not suitable for thermal treat- ment via waste-to-energy. The proposed development will not extend beyond the Għallis landfill outline set by previous permits, and shall not extend beyond the existing Magħtab boundary wall. Missed targets The emergency situation facing Malta is a result of dec- ades of procrastination under different administrations on decisive steps to encourage waste separation and recy- cling, which made inciner- ation unavoidable. But with the incinerator taking 40% of the country's waste, bolder steps will still be required to increase recycling and re-use and decrease landfilling. The latest Environmental Im- plementation Review (EIR) is- sued by the European Commis- sion's Directorate General for the Environment has expressed concern on Malta's dismal track record on waste manage- Landfill's vertical extension gives two additional years before incinerator is in place to take more waste

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