For many decades, as the rest of Europe was introducing modern waste disposal systems based on good environmental practices, including reuse and recycling, Malta lagged behind.

  • Nationwide – Old landfills in Magħtab, Marsascala and Gozo


    Nationwide – Old landfills in Magħtab, Marsascala and Gozo

  • European Regional and Development Funds


    European Regional and Development Funds

  • Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life


    Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life

  • €26,224,400

    Cost of Project


  • €22,290,700

    Total EU Allocation


Malta’s municipal waste, including hazardous waste, was dumped in unauthorized or unregulated landfills, which had even become environmental eyesores following many years of unmanaged dumping.

In one case, that of the Magħtab landfill, which for many years, served as the island’s main dumpsite, an artificial mountain of waste was created, offering an eyesore visible from most parts of the island. Malta’s waste problem was so large that if not addressed with urgency, it could also jeopardize Malta’s aspirations to join the EU, as there was no way that its waste systems could conform to the EU directives in place.

Just before joining the EU, in April 2004, Malta declared its main landfills, in Xagħra, Malta, and il-Qortin, Gozo, as shut. Instead, through tens of millions of EU funds, a new engineered landfill in Għallies was created and the rehabilitation of the old landfills and their turning into recreational areas started.

While at the new landfill, municipal waste started being treated and separated, the old dumps had to pass through a delicate process to make them safe.

Since waste, especially like that deposited in Maghtab and Il-Qortin, create hazardous gases (methane), the first phase of the rehabilitation process was to cap the same landfills and make them secure.

New drainage systems were excavated and a system of extracting and burning the hazardous gases was introduced. The intention was that the same waste could eventually be also used to produce power.

The main aim was that over timethe large areas of ‘dumped waste’ would be turned into parks, where the natural environment would start thriving , once again. The project also involved another former landfill in the south of Malta, which had been closed much earlier.

The landfill, in Marsascala, proved easier to rehabilitate as it had been deactivated for longer. Since it had no problems of emitting gases, as it was extinguished much before, it was capped and turned into a family park. Nowadays, hundreds of children spend hours playing in an area, which for years, used to be their parents’ dumping ground.

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