Construction and demolition waste: a way forward

Aaron Farrugia
Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia

Last Updated on Saturday, 9 October, 2021 at 12:18 pm by Andre Camilleri

Following a public consultation process, the Construction and Demolition Waste Strategy for Malta (2021-2030)  is being adopted by the Government. 

This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia together with the Deputy Director of the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) Kevin Mercieca. 

Construction and demolition waste is the largest waste stream in the EU representing around a third of all waste generated. Due to this, the EU has recognised the need for improving the quality of recycling and recovery of this waste stream and boost the demand for secondary raw materials.

The Minister said that this strategy was put together by ERA in collaboration with the Ministry in order to address this waste stream and to move towards a more circular economy. 

“The strategy aims to holistically address the current issues within the sector as well as highlight the possible short term and long-term measures which may be adopted to move away from backfilling and move towards re-use and recycling. This strategy is a framework which will act as a driver intended to bring about a cultural and behavioural shift within the sector in terms of its attitude towards excavation, demolition and construction methods. In contrast to previous governments, which not only abused of, but also failed to regulate such an important sector, this government is taking courageous decisions and delivering the results which the people expect,” Minister Farrugia said. 

The strategy identifies four (4) main priority areas which are crucial for the management of construction and demolition waste.

1.   Planning and design: Targets the construction industry with specific measures aiming to tackle the problem at source by demolishing or constructing in a sustainable manner;

2.   Waste management:  Lists specific measures to improve waste logistics both at the development site as well as off-site;

3.   Quality management: Focuses on measures associated with increasing the confidence in C&D waste management practices as well as improving the quality of C&D recycled materials;

4. Policy and regulatory framework:  Deals with improvements in policy and framework conditions in order to break the link between development and waste generation.

The strategy will consist of a number of key measures which will be rolled out along the years. The main measures include: 

1.   Establishing of standards for the construction industry

2.   Introduction of a new regulatory framework directed at the management of C&D waste

3.   Improvement of waste classification and source separation

4.   Exploration with respect to the setting-up of resource recovery and storage depots to consequently promote recycling infrastructure

5.   Exploration and identification of potential mechanisms to strengthen the implementation of the polluter pays principle (PPP).

6.   Setting of re-use and recycling targets

7.   Enforcement of recovery through the restoration of void spaces

“As a government we are calling on competent authorities, and relevant stakeholders within the industry to commit to the implementation of this strategy. Your participation is key to its successful implementation, and in our vision towards an ecological transition and circular economy,” Minister Farrugia said. 

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