Developers have warned that unless a solution to the dumping of construction waste isfound imminently, there will be havoc on Maltese roads with road construction coming “to an almost complete standstill”.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Malta Developers Association said "intense discussions" are currently being held with the government for a solution to be found.

It said the dumping of construction and demolition waste is stalling the progress in the construction industry across the country.

The threat rekindles a standoff that was last in the news just one year ago, when the matter was resolved following an agreement between environmental regulator ERA, quarry owners and the Malta Developers Association. 

In its statement on Wednesday, the MDA said that the "patchwork" of attempted solutions provided along the years in a bid to solve the problem had failed to prove to be effective in the long term.

It added that problem has lately been accentuated by the fact that major roadworks have taken place generating a considerable amount of waste, adding on to the surmounting pressures surrounding the issue.

MDA director-general Deborah Schembri insisted that the current position “is untenable” and called for a solution “without undue delay”.

She presented Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia with a set of short and long term proposals in an effort to resolve the impasse “which is causing great distress to various sectors within the building and construction industry”.

A follow-up meeting with the minister has been set for the coming days during which the government has promised to highlight a way forward.

The MDA said it looked forward to a long-lasting solution but stressed this should have “immediate results” not to jeopardise the livelihood of one of the most productive sectors of the Maltese economy and create havoc on roads with road construction coming “to an almost complete standstill”.

“This is the last thing one wishes to happen during the coming summer months,” Schembri said.

Road works halted in 2020

Complaints about construction waste disposal solutions have long featured on the national agenda, with the government also considering dumping rubble at sea to ease pressures.

In 2020, Infrastructure Malta had ordered a sudden halt to all roadworks, claiming dumping sites had "reached capacity". Sources within the sector had said at the time that the real reason works had stopped was that dumping costs had risen substantially. 

Roadworks resumed after four days of negotiations led to a cap on the dumping cost of such waste, set at a maximum of €12 per tonne.

Environment minister Aaron Farrurgia said government is in "the negotiating stage" with the industry. 

"We will ensure that there is a long-term win-win solution for everyone," he said. 

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