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Malta dumping site transformed into environmental attraction

Malta dumping site transformed into environmental attraction

The Wied Fulija rehabilitation project nears completion as the country’s waste recycling plan kicks in

With the planting of 400 indigenous trees, the Wied Fulija rehabilitation project in Zurrieq, Malta has entered its final phase, reports TVM. The project, which aims to turn an area the size of seven football stadiums into an environmental attraction, will be completed within four months following the planting of 30 000 additional shrubs.

The place has a great tourist potential, being part of a valley overlooking the cliffs on the coast of Zurrieq. Unfortunately, from 1979 until 1996 the picturesque area was used as a landfill.

Views, birds and bees

In August 2019, waste management company WasteServ began the rehabilitation works of the former dumping site which include the making of a pathway so that visitors could enjoy the splendid views. In collaboration with BirdLife, WasteServ will create nesting sites in the Fulija Valley. The company will also help the Malta Beekepers Association to set up beehives, thus contributing to the preservation of native bee species.

Praising the ecological and health benefits of the partly EU-funded project worth EUR 4,5 million, Zurrieq mayor Rita Grima told TVM: “Every time I come here I see the difference. Now here are beautiful, long walkways. Wonderful views. No smell. Just pure air and the chance for visitors to have as many picnics as they want. There will be a lot of trees here.”

The Minister for the Environment, Aaron Farrugia, who attended the planting event, said that the Wied Fulija rehabilitation project fits in perfectly with the Government’s environmental strategy. “The wise decision of the Government to move away from the concept of landfills through state-of-the-art facilities in which the Government of the day is investing will result in extracting a resource from waste,” said the environment minister.

He was referring to Ecohive, Malta’s largest waste management project worth half a billion euros which aims to drive the country towards a circular economy. Under this mega-project, every type of waste material will be converted into a resource with only 10 percent of waste ending up in a landfill.

Malta Waste Reduction Awards

However, without active community participation, national waste management efforts may stumble. To stimulate Local Councils and residents to observe the laws related to waste collection, and come up with innovative ideas in the sector, Malta Waste Reduction Awards have come into play. Last week, the locality of Qrendi grabbed the first prize for most recycled waste per capita in 2019 and was awarded EUR 5 000. This recognition will help Qrendi Local Council to create more projects for the benefit of the local environment and its residents’ wellbeing.

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