Wasteserv plans to start an industrial rudimentary recycling line within the Sant’Antnin Material Recovery complex by the end of summer and as soon as COVID social distancing measures are lifted.

It said in a statement that by end of year, the process will be further ramped up with the installation of additional machinery including high load bailers that will yield a better weight to volume ratio.

This, together with new storage facilities, will ensure that the separated recyclable materials are of the highest quality maximising their potential reuse. 

The entire fire system at the facility is also being completely renewed as part of the investment.

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It said on Friday that although all municipal waste streams were processed separately, after the burning down of the Sant'Antnin facility, Malta’s infrastructural setup in terms of recyclable material had been limited to Gozo’s tal-Kus plant.

A fierce fire destroyed a large part of Sant' Antnin plant in Marsascala in May 2017.

Since then, recyclable material has being bailed separately from other waste streams and sent for export. Although this did not have a negative impact on local limited landfilling capacity, it impinged on the Island’s recycling performance figures by virtually zeroing them.

But it was now in a position to reverse the trend and aspire to a significant spike in its final performance. Through these upgrades, Wasteserv would immediately push the performance up to 15% with the intention to more than double it by early next year.

More improvements would follow, but Malta would reach its full waste management potential following the realisation of the Ecohive project, it said.

Wasteserv has submitted an application for an outline development permit to build a waste-to-energy plant in Magħtab, dubbed Ecohive, which is expected to cost up to €190 million to build and a further €200 million to operate over two decades.

The proposal has been met with protests by farmers who stand to lose agricultural land.

CEO Richard Bilocca said he believed the public will continue to increase its commitment to waste separation which was crucial to advance forward decisively as Wasteserv prepared to revolutionise waste management in Malta by moving towards a circular economy approach.

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