MEPA permit for landscaping of former dumping site welcomed
Government's decision to turn the former dumping site at Il-Qortin in Xaghra into a family park is yet another initiative which contributes strongly towards the transformation of Gozo into an eco-island.
The granting yesterday of the MEPA permit related to another phase in the rehabilitation of the former dumpsite in Xagħra will result in the transformation of Gozo's possibly largest eyesore (and environmental problem) into a park dedicated to the family recreation. This development is a direct result of action taken in 2004 when this waste disposal facility was phased out, and a project for the retrieval of gases was implemented, resulting in significant air quality improvements in the region.
The closure of the Qortin landfill marked a milestone in the resolution of Gozo's largest pollution problem. It also constituted one of the more important foundation stones for the launching of the eco-island vision a few years later.
Gozo has also experienced the introduction of environmentally-conscious waste management practices such as waste separation, the opening of a Civic Amenity Site for the collection of bulky, separated waste, and the forthcoming establishment of the Gozo Waste Transfer Station. Minister Giovanna Debono commented that 'These are all fundamental stepping stones in this island's quest for Sustainable Development and to transform our island into an eco-island with unique opportunities where we will continue to create new employment opportunities'.
MEPA's approval yesterday will give way to the start of landscaping works on the landfill mound, which will have a significant positive impact on the landscape in the area. The project will also include the planting of a significant amount of trees. This area is one of four sites identified for large afforestation projects as part of the eco-Gozo action plan. Other tree planting projects will be conducted at Il-Qortin in Nadur, the new Three Hills Garden in Marsalforn and in an extension to the afforested area 'Pope John XXIII' in Mgarr.