The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) and WasteServ Malta (WSM) will be jointly implementing an EU funded project that will result in a national hazardous waste inventory and provision of technical assistance in the regulatory aspects of hazardous waste management.
Generally hazardous waste makes up less than one percent of all generated waste, nonetheless it represents a serious risk to the environment and human health if not managed and treated safely. The amount of hazardous waste going to landfill declined substantially since 1999, and from 2003 this type of waste has been retained on site by waste generators or exported through private initiatives. These activities are a result of interim arrangements pending the establishment of a national hazardous waste treatment facility and a hazardous waste landfill.
With a total budget of € 250,000 financed from the unallocated envelope of the Transitional Facility Programme for Malta for 2004, this project will be implemented through a Twinning Light partnership with the Austrian Federal Environment Agency, which was awarded the contract. During the first week of November, Austrian representatives carried out an inception visit at MEPA to start the implementation of the project. All the project activities are expected to be completed by June 2007.
The first result to be delivered as part of the project will be an assessment report of the current situation in respect of hazardous waste in Malta. The assessment report will suggest appropriate techniques to collect, inventorise, and analyse data related to hazardous waste generation and management in Malta. Subsequently short-term experts (STEs) will design and implement an information management system that will serve as an inventory for the data collected. Hazardous waste producers, operators and other stakeholders will be informed, through a series of workshops, about what is expected from them to effectively manage hazardous waste and what they should do to register any hazardous waste generation activities. To ensure environmentally sustainable management of hazardous waste, a package of legislative, policy and administrative measures will be introduced and relevant government officials will be trained in the inventorisation of hazardous waste and in the use of related data management and monitoring systems.
To deliver the results mentioned above, the Austrian project team will be employing a number of short-term experts with the qualifications and experience agreed by MEPA and WSM. The expertise to be provided is mainly in the fields of waste management, waste statistics, communications and information technology.
MEPA project leader, Mr. Franck Lauwers, believes that this project will assist stakeholders in fulfilling their obligations stipulated by the EU legislation, regional agreements and international instruments towards environmentally sound management of hazardous waste.
Ms. Henrietta Putzulu Caruana, project leader on behalf of WSM, said that this project will assist in the generation of an inventory which will ultimately be an essential tool to further strengthen Malta's capacity in the hazardous waste management field.
All the activities will be carried out under the supervision of the Waste Management Team at MEPA, and WasteServ Malta with the assistance from the EU & Multilateral Affairs Unit of MEPA, which helped to secure EU funding for this project.