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.

References/Links:
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

Comments

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

    ReplyDelete

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