Richard Bilocca - WasteServ CEO

WasteServ Malta CEO Richard Bilocca has assured the Naxxar Local Council that the process of relocating the hazardous waste incinerator from Marsa to Magħtab is still in early days and still being studied, including in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

This was discussed during a meeting between Mr Bilocca and Mayor Anne Marie Muscat, Vice-Mayor Christopher Deguara, Executive Secretary Paul Gatt and Councillors Maryanne Cuomo, Mark Anthony Deguara, Joseph Spiteri u Noel Gatt.

The local council expressed concerns over the news that WasteServ Malta had proposed to relocate the incinerator used to burn hazardous waste – such as clinical waste, butcher waste, and pharmaceuticals, among others – to Magħtab. The incinerator would be in close proximity to the waste-to-energy plant.

Despite the plan to relocate, the current plant in Marsa will be closed but will remain on standby in case of unplanned outages. According to a MaltaToday report, at the moment, the plant in Marsa processes between 5,000 and 6,000 tonnes of hazardous waste a year, delivered by 130 to 150 vehicles each day. This is expected to increase to over 10,000 tonnes by 2045.

The new plant is proposed to have two independent lines consisting of rotary kilns, each hadnling one tonne of waste per hour and therefore handling around 14,000 tonnes a year.

AIS Limited, an environmental consultancy firm hired by WasteServ, in a project description statement it noted that the relocation of the plan will be beneficial to Marsa residents. The reason behind this is that the current thermal facility is closely located to the harbour, a highly populated area for industrial and residential buildings.

In a statement sent to the media on Tuesday (today), the Naxxar Local Council stated that after learning about the proposal it immediately called for a meeting with the CEO to provide more details.

“The local council noted that it would have been more gust and appropopriate had there been more communication from the beginning with the council. After all, the local council is the representative of many Naxxar residents,” the council explained.

This is not the first time that the council spoke out on the lack of consultation about the setting up of an incinerator. In 2018, the council had called for a meeting with Environment Minister Jose’ Herrera over plans of an incinerator.

It stated that it will be following the entire process of the proposal in detail and involve technical individuals to ascertain that there won’t be any impact on the environment, the health and the lives of its residents.

Additionally, the local council reminded that it had already disapproved of the waste-to-energy plant in Magħtab, “and voted against it.”

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