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Něco o odpadech a skládkování na Maltě

15.06.2003  |  127× přečteno      vytisknout článek

Něco o odpadech a skládkování na Maltě A load of rubbish Malta\'s major eyesore ­ the Maghtab landfill ­ has been a source of controversy over the last years. It seems that it will remain so for a number of years to come even though the government has decided to close it down. FRANCO ALOISIO takes a look at the controversy surrounding the Maghtab landfill and analyses the waste management plan which was published last month Over the years, a number of landfill sites were operational in the Maltese Islands. It is recorded that during the last 30 years, 15 sites of varying size were in existence at some time or another. Of these landfill sites, only two are currently operational, that at Maghtab in Malta and the one at Tal-Qortin in Xaghra, Gozo. The Maghtab site was never intended to be used as a landfill. Indeed. The dumping of waste was supposed to be a temporary exercise which started in the 1970s as part of an agricultural rehabilitation scheme. Since then Maghtab has grown both laterally and vertically to proportions that are difficult to control and monitor. Since 1996 Maghtab has completely replaced the other landfill at Wied Fulija, which was closed down that same year. The term \"landfill\" is used to describe the two sites at Maghtab and Qortin. However, this is a misnomer as both sites can be better described as examples of \"landrising\". In fact, the draft Solid Waste Management Plan published last month states that both sites, especially at Maghtab, can only be described as uncontrolled dumping sites where operational, technical and environmental control are minimal and where co-disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes takes place. They are both visible from afar and have a marked negative impact on the surrounding landscape. The Maghtab landfill is on sloping ground next to the coast line and a heavily used major traffic artery. The Qortin landfill is on high ground between Marsalforn Bay and Ramla l-Hamra. The smoke generated by the underground fires at both landfills heightens their visibility and is an environmental nuisance to Maltese and tourists alike who live next to and who frequent the adjacent coastal and tourist areas. According to the Waste Management Plan, the Maghtab landfill receives municipal and industrial wastes, oily sludges, residues resulting from sewer cleaning operations, used batteries, used lubricating and edible oil. The Maghtab landfill occasionally receives also untreated health-care and abattoir waste. This landfill occupies an area of approximately 600,000 square metres or 540 tumoli of which 64 per cent have already been utilised and covered by waste. An area approximately equivalent to 33 per cent of the total area is utilised as an outer boundary buffer zone. The landfill has an irregular oblong shape with dimensions from tip to toe of circa 1,500 metres and of 950 metres in a cross-wise direction. Maghtab to be closed down The government has finally decided to close down the Maghtab landfill. It will cease to exist in the coming years as the government will be seeking an alternative and adequate landfill. The other existing landfill at Tal-Qortin in Gozo will also be closed down. The Waste Management Plan states that a new landfill will be established in Malta, together with another one in Gozo. At least 16 potential sites for such a landfill in Malta have been identified, although the plan shortlists seven sites. The primary site is Wied Moqbol (limits of Benghajsa), followed by ix-Xoqqiet (Benghajsa) and Ghallis ta\' Gewwa (which would constitute an extension of Maghtab). For several reasons the first two sites cannot be used as landfills. Hence the obvious choice fell on L-Ghallis ta\' Gewwa, very close to the present Maghtab landfill. On the Maghtab and Tal-Qortin landfills, the report says: \"They are both beyond their operating life and the sooner they are closed down the better.\" The report states that landfilling will remain a necessary evil. Irrespective of waste management policies, solutions and options to be decided upon, there will still remain the need for a new landfill site. This will be constructed and managed in accordance with standards and principles pertaining to engineered landfill sites. This facility will be required for the disposal of residues generated from waste management treatment processes and for waste that cannot be handled and treated in any other way. The plan states that the existing landfill disposal fee should be reviewed, as the current fees are too low and do not provide any incentive for waste producers, especially those involved in the construction industry, to consider alternative options of dealing with their waste. At present the fee is 35 cents per one tonne of rubble. In 2010, this will increase to Lm1.50. The plan also recommends that incineration should be considered as one of the last options for the disposal of waste. The use of incineration for waste disposal was the source of controversy in these last years, especially after the strong environmental lobby against it. The plan states as well that Malta will require another recycling plant in the future, when the Sant Antnin complex will be functioning to its maximum capacity. In fact the throughput of the plant will be maximised to cater for the improved treatment of biodegradable waste. Management practices at all waste disposal facilities will have to be improved, including the existing incineration facilities such as the one at St Luke\'s Hospital. For instance, all waste deposited at landfill sites should be compacted and covered on a daily basis and proper handling procedures for healthcare and abattoir wastes should be introduced. Another proposal concerns the proper disposal of inert waste. The plan proposes schemes for the utilisation of privately owned inert waste disposal sites which further encourage the diversion of inert wastes from the public landfill facilities to the private sector. The report states that the waste management services including the Sant Antnin recycling plant in Marsascala will be privatised. Several organisations have already expressed interest in such a project. Location of new landfill being opposed The government\'s decision to set up a new landfill in l-Ghallis ta\' Gewwa, very close to the present Maghtab landfill, has not been welcomed by the residents living close to the Maghtab dump site and the commercial community of Salina and Qawra. In fact, an action committee was set up last week to oppose the opening of a new landfill near the Ghallis Tower. The residents, mayors and councillors from nearby local councils claim the landfill would spell disaster for the residents and for the tourism industry. Bugibba, Qawra and the Salini area provide around 45 per cent of available tourist beds. The new landfill will be located a mere 600 metres away from a leading hotel in Salina. Hence the controversy over the existing Maghtab landfill has literally spilled over to the site now being earmarked for the development of an engineered landfill. Maghtab landfill to be closed down By Franco Aloisio Malta\'s main environmental hazard and eyesore, the Maghtab landfill, will cease to exist in the coming years as the government will be seeking an alternative landfill. The other existing landfill at Tal-Qortin in Gozo will also be closed down. The solid waste management plan, published yesterday, states that a new landfill will be established in Malta, together with another one in Gozo. At least 16 potential sites for such a landfill in Malta have been identified, although the plan shortlists seven sites suitable as landfills. The primary site is Wied Moqbol (limits of Benghajsa), followed by ix-Xoqqiet (Benghajsa) and l-Ghallis ta\' Gewwa (which would constitute an extension of Maghtab). Due to several reasons, the first two sites cannot be used as landfills. Hence the obvious choice fell on L-Ghallis ta\' Gewwa. The report states that it is only when this facility is established, that the Maghtab landfill site can be close down. On the Maghtab and Tal-Qortin landfills, the report says: \"They are both beyond their operating life and the sooner they are closed down the better.\" The report states that landfilling will remain a necessary evil. Irrespective of the waste management policies, solutions and options to be decided upon, there will still remain the need for the establishment of a new landfill site. This landfill will be constructed and managed in accordance with standards and principles pertaining to engineered landfill sites. This facility will be required for the disposal of residues generated from waste management treatment processes and for those wastes that cannot be handled and treated in any other way. The report explains that the Maghtab landfill does not fall within the definition of a landfill. In actual fact, it constitutes a landrise as the waste, along the years, has been accumulating above the level of land, thus forming a rubble hill. The plan states that the existing landfill disposal fee should be reviewed, as the current fees are too low and do not provide any incentive for waste producers, especially those involved in the construction industry, to consider alternative options of dealing with their wastes. At present, the fee is 35 cents per one tonne of rubble. In 2010, this will increase to Lm1.50. The plan also recommends that incineration should be considered as one of the last options for the disposal of waste. The use of incineration for waste disposal was the source of controversy in these last years, especially after the strong environmental lobby against its use. The plan also states that Malta will require another recycling plant in the future, when the Sant Antnin complex will be functioning to its maximum capacity. In fact the throughput of the plant will be maximised to cater for the improved treatment of biodegradable waste. Management practices at all waste disposal facilities will have to be improved, including the existing incineration facilities such as the one at St Luke\'s Hospital. For instance, all waste deposited at landfill sites should be compacted and covered on a daily basis and proper handling procedures for healthcare and abattoir wastes should be introduced. Another proposal concerns the proper disposal of inert waste. In fact, the plan proposes schemes for the utilisation of privately owned inert waste disposal sites which further encourage the diversion of inert wastes from the public landfill facilities to the private sector. The plan will serve as the basis for a wide consultation process on the waste management systems to be adopted in the future. The consultation process will last two months and copies of the document can be obtained from the government bookshop in Ordinance Street, Valletta. Comments should be addressed to the Director General of the Works Division, Project House Floriana. Zdroj:The Malta Indenpendent


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