Malta's Toxic Real Estate

I clearly remember the double retake I registered close to twenty years back, when as a young estate agent still breaking the ice in the business, I discovered that some of the highest priced property on the island was located within a couple of kilometres radius and in clear sight of Malta's prime toxic dump - Maghtab.

Facts and figures were hard to come by back then, and further questions from my part elicited many a disapproving look. But this morning I ran across the truth in black and white thanks to Cynthia Busuttil from The Times of Malta.

Here they are published in the papers, today 23rd April 2010.
• €30 million in EU funds will be used to turn the Magħtab, Sant'Antnin and Qortin dumps into leisure areas.

• Eighty per cent of the gases that come out of the Magħtab dump are toxic, the other 20 per cent is methane, being used to operate the regenerative thermal oxidiser.

• Almost 20 million tonnes of waste were dumped in Magħtab since the 1970s. Some 22.6 million tonnes of waste were deposited in 10 dumps since the 1960s.
• The 400 steel wells capture 6,000 cubic metres of gases every hour, with 40 million cubic metres being collected and treated every year.

Up until a few years ago, open fires raging across the Maghtab dump were a common sight. The resulting toxic smoke enveloped the coast road, and the stench carried across the landscape permeating the Bahar ic-Caghaq, Madliena and Gharghur residences, going as far as Bugibba, Qawra and Wardija depending on the wind direction.

Finally, a truly unbelievable situation is coming to an end, notwithstanding gases will keep on being extracted for the next two decades. And they say
real estate prices depend on location.

Times of Malta article (23 April 2010) - Limestone-compost mixture will seal Magħtab dump

Link to Scott Wilson Projects - Malta Landfill Rehabilitation
Link to MaltaToday article (16 jan 2005) - For their eyes only

Link to MaltaToday article (15 th July 2001) - Confirmed: Brain, heart and spine birth defects linked to landfills


  1. Methane is not just toxic but also makes you blind in quite small doses- and it is invisible ...


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