The plans to have temporary landfills should be avoided, Friends of the Earth said today. The government should make public the studies that have been carried out on the permanent landfill site, and start work on the most acceptable site as soon as possible. In the meantime, waste separation at source should take off in as many localities as possible with the full cooperation and support of the Local Councils, FoE’s waste campaigner said.
If Ghallis is really the best possible site, the process to excavate the first cell should be speeded up so that it can be ready to accept waste by May 2004. Provided enough effort is put into waste separation at source, Malta could reduce the volumes of waste going to landfill dramatically.
While the government has chosen Ghallis, FoE Malta insists that discussions be held with representatives of civil society, local councils, other interest groups and the public to ensure that the best site has been chosen for Malta’s more ‘permanent’ landfill in that it would be the least damaging from an environmental, social and economic point of view. The MHRA, and other constituted bodies should be important partners in the discussions.
It should be clear to everyone that what the government is planning is not another Maghtab, but something quite different. Malta must have a landfill and FoE Malta cannot fathom why Progett Skart and later WasteServ did not bother to involve all stakeholders in the discussions leading to the site selection and decision as is clearly stated in Malta’s waste management strategy.
The ministry for resources and infrastructure was extremely irresponsible to announce new landfill sites to be used as a temporary measure prior to any studies being drawn up and discussions with civil society held. FoE Malta cannot accept the decision to have temporary landfills unless it can be shown that no ‘permanent’ landfill can be prepared in time to meet Malta’s EU commitments. The ministry should explain its decisions with urgency.