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Turning Construction Waste Into A Circular Economy: Government Is Urging Developers To Use Reconstituted Stone

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The government will incentivise developers to invest in reconstituted stone so that construction waste from excavated material is recycled in a bid to avoid dumping charges.

Malta’s government is looking to encourage developers to invest in reconstituted stone in a sustained bid to address the country’s growing construction waste problem.

The problem is well documented, with landfills practically full and land reclamation being touted as a possible solution. However, a research project by the University of Malta is close to making reconstituted stone, which uses old discarded materials to create new ones, a reality.

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia is now even suggesting that land reclamation should not be seen as the be-all and end-all of the construction waste crisis.

He stressed the importance of this transition in the sector, with the public consultation on a draft strategy on Construction and Demolition waste, launched a few weeks ago.

Farrugia stressed the importance of such a transition within one of Malta’s most important economic sectors: construction, and that to this end, the draft strategy on Construction and Demolition waste, for which a public consultation was launched, was closed a couple of weeks ago. 

“While we have never excluded this course of action, we need to pursue this in a climate of sustainability where our economic, social and environmental goals are maximised,” Farrugia said.

“The increase in property prices due to excessive increase in dumping charges could be well neutralising the assistance given to our young families through the first, and second-time buyers reduced tax schemes. Besides, one must remark that the natural limestone extracted from our quarries is a finite resource and is reaching its end,” Economy Minister Silvio Schembri explained.

Schembri unveiled three measures that push the use of reconstituted stone.  It will provide the necessary resources to get the commercialisation of reconstituted stone as soon as possible.

They will also help the industry commercialise the product through investment assistance schemes, which they hope will help establish new methods to increase construction development efficiency. Developers will also be encouraged to recycle their construction waste.

Schembri explained that the commercialisation of the new material would create a more efficient and sustainable building resource, will give new value to construction waste, reduce property development costs, and crucially make a drastic reduction in our reliance on landfills to deal without construction waste.

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