Waste­serv and ERA to par­tic­i­pate in In­ter­reg Europe project COCOON on land­fill man­age­ment

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Waste­serv, as the op­er­a­tor, and the En­vi­ron­ment and Re­source Au­thor­ity, as the reg­u­la­tor, will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in an In­ter­reg Europe project, bear­ing the name COCOON. The name of the project re­flects the change hap­pen­ing dur­ing the meta­mor­pho­sis of waste through the con­cept of land­fill min­ing. This project aims to im­prove re­gional pol­icy on land­fill man­age­ment within the par­tic­i­pat­ing re­gions and coun­tries.

This project has a to­tal bud­get of €14M with around €176,000 go­ing to the Mal­tese part­ners at a co­fi­nanc­ing rate of 85%. Its to­tal du­ra­tion is 60 months and will run un­til Fe­bru­ary 2022. I-Clean­tech Flan­ders, a Bel­gian en­tity, is the co­or­di­na­tor and brings to­gether 8 part­ners from the coun­tries of Cyprus, Bel­gium, the Nether­lands, Spain and Malta.

The ob­jec­tive of this project is to de­velop, in­te­grate and im­prove rel­e­vant pol­icy in­stru­ments, while in­creas­ing sub­si­dies through oper- ational pro­grammes for land­fill man­age­ment pro­jects, bring­ing to­gether dis­tinct EU re­gions to share and cap­i­talise on re­gional good prac­tices.

As a re­sult of land­fill man­age­ment pro­jects, the re­cov­ery of re­sources as well as land re­cov­ery is in­creased while fu­ture en­vi­ron­men­tal haz­ards can be avoided. More­over, land­fill man­age­ment pro­jects gen­er­ate eco­nomic devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and cre­ate new green jobs, all within the con­text of an EU-wide tran­si­tion to a re­silient, low-car­bon, cir­cu­lar econ­omy.

Since the 1950’s, Europe has been dis­pos­ing sig­nif­i­cant amounts of waste in land­fills. In fact it is es­ti­mated that over 450,000 non-san­i­tary land­fills in Europe have lim­ited en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion tech­nolo­gies. In light of this, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has ac­knowl­edged that a vi­sion for man­ag­ing Europe’s land­fills is ur­gently re­quired. Land­fills are to be con- sidered as dy­namic stocks of re­sources that can be in­te­grated into the econ­omy, while land­fill man­age­ment sup­ports re­claim­ing land and avoids as­tro­nomic re­me­di­a­tion and af­ter­care costs.

Malta, an is­land state with lim­ited land avail­able for land­fill­ing, is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the COCOON project through two key stake hold­ers in waste man­age­ment - Waste­serv and ERA, which fall un­der the re­mit of the Min­istry for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment, the En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change. The project’s ob­jec­tives fit with Waste­serv’s vi­sion – that of cre­at­ing re­sources from waste. In fact the com­pany’s ed­u­ca­tional drive fo­cuses on chang­ing peo­ple’s be­hav­iour and have them move away from dis­pos­ing in land­fills and closer to the con­cepts of re­duc­ing, reusing and re­cy­cling. This is in line with the waste man­age­ment hi­er­ar­chy, which is also the un­der­ly­ing prin­ci­ple of the waste leg­is­la­tion which ERA man­ages.

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