NGOs express concern over lack of technical information in new Wasteserv plant project |  Moviment Graffitti Malta.
23/05/2020

NGOs express concern over lack of technical information in new Wasteserv plant project

Several NGOs and the Swieqi local council welcome the government’s plan to invest in new waste management facilities and start addressing Malta’s waste management problem. However, we demand for more detailed and technical information on the proposed new waste-to-energy system to be made public.


Incineration and thermal conversion do not qualify as renewable energy and it would be wrong to deceive the public into thinking that they do. The size of the waste-to-energy plant should be kept to a minimum so as to cater for waste which currently cannot be recycled. Apart from the required environmental impact assessment, a social impact assessment should also be carried out before any definitive decision to go ahead with this project is taken. Detailed studies about carbon dioxide and other potentially hazardous emissions are vital to understand how this waste management plant will impact the neighbouring towns, villages and farming communities, and must not be overlooked.


We are primarily concerned that a waste-to-energy system could potentially lead to excessive waste generation. Maltese society as a whole needs to understand that we need to make a collective effort to start recycling more and implement practices that will help us minimise waste generation and reach our targets. This means that all sectors of society need to be on board and fully committed to respect waste separation procedures, especially hotels and factories. In order to achieve this we also need to have a robust Waste Management Plan, which the government has promised to implement by the end of this year. This plan should be based on a clear understanding that the resources on this planet are limited and will one day be exhausted. We must understand that we cannot keep manufacturing, producing and recycling paper, plastics, metals and alloys indefinitely. Reducing the use of materials and resources is crucial to ensure that our planet’s finite resources are used in a sustainable way. Materials which cannot be reutilised or regenerated, and thus do not fall within the circular economy, should be phased out and eventually banned. Although a waste-to-energy system is a decisive improvement over dumping waste in engineered landfills, we must realise that it should not be presented as the only possible solution.


Further studies should also be conducted on the incinerator’s potential cooling system since warm water will be discharged into the sea in the Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq area. This will inevitably leave a negative impact on the marine environment in the process, including the protected seagrass, Posidonia meadows. The Posidonia meadows are one of the most important sources of oxygen provided to coastal waters, also known as the lung of the Mediterranean.


We are also of the opinion that the sacrifice of 83 tumoli (9 hectares) of arable land is still excessive and unnecessary for this kind of project. The EIA needs to assess the impact on Malta's agricultural output and further dependency on imported produce. Besides the need to start seriously reconsidering our waste strategy and culture, we should also make sure that waste management projects are sustainable and do not encourage the further take-up of agricultural land and similar resources.


NGOs and Local Council: 

  1. Din l-Art Ħelwa 
  2. Extinction Rebellion Malta
  3. Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar 
  4. Friends of the Earth Malta
  5. Isles of the Left
  6. Malta Youth in Agriculture Foundation
  7. Moviment Graffitti
  8. Ramblers Malta
  9. The Archaeological Society Malta
  10. Swieqi Local Council


References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31078030/

https://ukwin.org.uk/climate/

https://medwet.org/2017/10/mediterranean-posidonia/

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Numru ta’ NGOs jesprimu t-tħassib tagħhom dwar in-nuqqas ta’ informazzjoni teknika fir-rigward tal-proġett tal-impjant ġdid tal-Wasteserv


Bosta NGOs jilqgħu b’sodisfazzjon il-pjan tal-gvern li jinvesti f’faċilitajiet ġodda għall-immaniġġjar tal-iskart sabiex jibda jindirizza l-problema tal-immaniġġjar tal-iskart li qed jaffaċċja pajjiżna. Madankollu, qed nitolbu sabiex tiġi ppubblikata aktar informazzjoni teknika u dettaljata dwar is-sistema l-ġdida li tikkkonverti l-iskart f’enerġija (waste-to-energy) li qed tiġi proposta.


L-inċinerazzjoni u l-konverżjoni termali ma jikkwalifikawx bħala enerġija rinnovabbli u jkun ħażin li nagħtu l-impressjoni li dawn jistgħu jitqiesu bħala tali. Id-daqs tal-impjant li jikkonverti l-iskart f’enerġija għandu kemm jista’ jkun jinżamm minimu sabiex ikun hemm spazju fejn jiġi ttrattat skart li attwalment ma jistax jiġi rriċiklat. Minbarra l-evalwazzjoni tal-effetti fuq l-ambjent (EIA), li għal proġett bħal dan trid issir bilfors, għandha ssir ukoll evalwazzjoni tal-impatt soċjali qabel ma tittieħed kwalunkwe deċiżjoni definittiva biex dan il-proġett isir. Studji dettaljati dwar l-emissjonijiet tad-diossidu tal-karbonju u emissjonijiet potenzjalment perikolużi oħra huma importanti ħafna sabiex jgħinuna nifhmu x’tip ta’ impatt se jkun qed iħalli dan l-impjant tal-immaniġġjar tal-iskart fuq bliet, irħula u komunitajiet tal-biedja li jinsabu fil-qrib, u m’għandhomx jiġu mwarrba.


Aħna ninsabu primarjament imħassba li sistema li tikkonverti l-iskart fl-enerġija tista’ twassal għal ġenerazzjoni eċċessiva tal-iskart. Is-soċjetà Maltija jeħtieġ li tifhem il-bżonn li nagħmlu sforz kollettiv biex nibdew nirriċiklaw aktar u nimplimentaw prattiki li jgħinuna nimminimizzaw il-ġenerazzjoni tal-iskart u nilħqu l-miri tagħna. Dan ifisser li s-setturi kollha tas-soċjetà jeħtieġu li jkunu konformi u jimpenjaw ruħhom bis-sħiħ biex jimxu mal-proċeduri tas-separazzjoni tal-iskart, speċjalment lukandi u fabbriki. Sabiex dan ikun possibbli, jeħtieġ li jkollna Pjan tal-Immaniġġjar tal-Iskart b’saħħtu, xi ħaġa li l-gvern wiegħed li se jwettaq sal-aħħar ta’ din is-sena. Dan il-pjan għandu jkun ibbażat fuq l-għarfien li r-riżorsi ta’ dan il-pjaneta huma limitati u xi darba se jispiċċaw. Hemm bżonn nifhmu li ma nistgħux nibqgħu nimmanifatturaw, nipproduċu, u nirriċiklaw il-karti, il-plastik, il-metall u l-ligi għal dejjem. Huwa kruċjali li nnaqqsu l-użu tal-materjali u r-riżorsi sabiex niżguraw li r-riżorsi finiti tal-pjaneta tagħna jintużaw b’mod sostenibbli. Il-materjali li ma jistgħux jerġgħu jintużaw jew jiġu ġġenerati mill-ġdid, u li għalhekk ma jifformawx parti mill-ekonomija ċirkolari, għandhom jibdew jinqatgħu bil-mod u eventwalment jiġu pprojbiti. Għalkemm nirrikonoxxu li sistema li tikkonverti l-iskart f’enerġija hija xi ħaġa pożittiva ħafna u ħafna iktar preferibbli milli narmu l-iskart f’engineered landfills, jeħtieġ li ngħarfu li din m’għandhiex tiġi ppreżentata bħala l-unika soluzzjoni possibbli li teżisti.


Għandhom ukoll jiġu mwettqa aktar studji dwar is-sistema ta’ tkessiħ (cooling system) tal-inċineratur, għax jekk din issir se jibda jintrema ilma sħun fil-baħar fiż-żona ta’ Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq. Dan inevitabbilment se jħalli impatt negattiv fuq l-ambjent marin, inkluż il-ħaxixa tal-baħar protetta, il-Posidonia meadows. Il-Posidonia meadows hija waħda mill-iktar sorsi ta’ ossiġnu importanti għall-ibħra kostali, u mhux ta’ b’xejn li hija magħrufa bħala l-pulmun tal-Mediterran.


Nemmnu wkoll li t-telfa ta’ 83 tumulu (9 ettari) ta’ art tar-raba’ hija eċċessiva wisq u mhux neċessarja għal dan it-tip ta’ proġett. L-EIA jeħtieġ li jevalwa l-impatt fuq il-produzzjoni agrikola Maltija u ż-żieda fid-dipendenza fuq il-prodott importat. Minbarra l-ħtieġa li nibdew serjament nikkunsidraw mill-ġdid l-istrateġija u d-drawwiet tagħna fejn jidħol l-iskart, hemm bżonn ukoll li naraw li proġetti tal-immaniġġjar tal-iskart ikunu sostenibbli u ma jkomplux iwasslu għal aktar telf ta’ art agrikola u riżorsi simili.


NGOs u Kunsill Lokali: 

  1. Din l-Art Ħelwa 
  2. Extinction Rebellion Malta
  3. Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar 
  4. Friends of the Earth Malta
  5. Isles of the Left
  6. Malta Youth in Agriculture Foundation
  7. Moviment Graffitti
  8. Ramblers Malta
  9. The Archaeological Society Malta
  10. Swieqi Local Council


Referenzi

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31078030/

https://ukwin.org.uk/climate/

https://medwet.org/2017/10/mediterranean-posidonia/