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Dioxin levels drop after Maghtab dump closure

The closure of the Maghtab rubbish dump has led to a drop in the concentration of dioxins in air in the vicinity by around 99 per cent, Resources Minister George Pullicino said this evening.

Following the closure of the Maghtab dump in 2004, a programme to control fugitive emissions of landfill gas and combustion gases started to be implemented with the assistance of EU Structural Funds.

The programme was designed following an investigation of the site and related emissions.

The intervention involved the installation about 400 gas extraction wells, 12 gas monitoring wells, around 55 kilometres of gas collection pipe-work, gas manifolds and a gas treatment plant.

This system is treating the emissions from the former dump to eliminate the noxious substances.

The treatment of emissions from the former dump is coupled with monitoring of the air quality in the vicinity of the dump to gauge the effectiveness of the system.

The minister said that following the successful implementation of the aerial emissions control works, the Maghtab dump shall be subjected to further rehabilitation.

The project will involve the capping of the disused Magħtab dump in order to improve the environmental controls at the site, in particular the control of aerial emissions and limitation of leachate generation.

The capped Magħtab dump will be restored progressively in combination with the other components of the Magħtab Waste Management Complex, namely the Ta’ Zwejra and Għallis engineered landfills, in order to provide good quality rehabilitation of the site and to visually integrate with the surrounding landscape.

The capping will be covered by a layer of restoration soils which provide a suitable growing medium for restoration plantings, allowing the progressive restoration of the site to a beneficial end-use to the benefit of future generations.

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