Inċineratur? Le grazzi.

 

L-iskart hu riżors li għandna nutilizzawh flok ma narmuh. Biex nilħqu dan l-iskop irridu nibdlu l-attitudni tagħna u minn ekonomija lineari naqilbu għal waħda ċirkulari. L-istrateġija dwar l-iskart tistabilixxi s-sena 2050 biex sa dakinhar jintlaħaq l-oġġettiv ta’ skart zero fil-miżbliet. Biex dan l-oġġettiv ikun jista’ jintlaħaq hemm diversi għodda amministrattivi.

F’ekonomija lineari aħna nużaw (jew nikkonsmaw) prodott u wara li l-ħajja utli ta’ dan il-prodott tiġi fi tmiemha narmuh. L-ekonomija ċirkulari taħdem b’mod differenti b’mod li l-prodott użat (jew il-partijiet li jiffurmawh) jibqa’ jeżisti wara li jtemm il-ħajja utli tiegħu u dan billi jintuża biex jinħoloq prodott ġdid.

Hu possibli li nimmiraw għal tnaqqis fil-ġenerazzjoni tal-iskart (waste minimisation). Dan isir billi meta l-prodott ikun iddisinjat, min joħolqu iqis sewwa l-iskart li dan il-prodott jiġġenera matul il-perjodu kollu li jkun qed jiġi użat. Permezz ta’ eko-diżinn il-prodott jissaffa minn dawk l-elementi tiegħu li ma jkunux neċessarji u b’hekk jonqsu id-diffikultajiet li jkun riċiklat.

Nistgħu nnaqqsu l-iskart li niġġeneraw billi nassiguraw li nixtru biss dak li għandna bżonn u li dan nagħmluh fi kwantitajiet addattati għall-ħtiġijiet tagħna. Nistgħu, pereżempju nużaw prodotti fi qies kbir flok kwantita ferm ikbar tal-istess prodott f’qies iżgħar. Bħala riżultat ta’ dan aħna jirnexxielna nnaqqsu l-iskart li niġġeneraw u dan billi narmu numru inqas ta’ kontenituri jew pakkjeġġar.

L-iskart li xorta jkun iġġenerat minkejja politika li tfittex li tnaqqsu jista’ jkun irriċiklat. Fil-fatt nirriċiklaw il-karta, l-metall, il-plastik u l-ħġieġ. Nirriċiklaw ukoll l-apparat elettriku u elettroniku. F’xi lokalitajiet beda ukoll ir-riċiklaġġ tal-iskart organiku li niġġeneraw.

Sfortunatament madwar 12% biss tal-iskart li niġġeneraw hu rriċiklat, ferm inqas milli qed jirnexxilhom iwettqu l-parti l-kbira ta’ pajjiżi oħra. Dan hu falliment fl-implimentazzjoni tal-istrateġija dwar l-iskart. Biex jgħatti dan il-falliment, il-Ministru għall-Ambjent, għan-nom tal-Gvern, qed jipproponi li nibdew naħarqu l-iskart li niġġeneraw f’inċineratur. Il-mira hi li jinħaraq 40% tal-iskart tal-gżejjer Maltin. Il-Gvern qed jipproponi li flok ma nibgħatu l-iskart dan naħarquh f’inċineratur biex nevitaw il-ħtieġa ta’ iktar art għal iktar miżbliet.

L-inċinerazzjoni ma tinkoraġix lin-nies biex jagħtu kaz ta’ dak li jikkunsmaw. L-inċinerazzjoni tinkoraġixxi soċjetà li tarmi u twassal il-messaġġ li hemm ħaddieħor li qed jieħu ħsieb jerfa’ l-problemi li noħolqu bil-konsum tagħna.

Qed jinfurmawna li bl-inċinerazzjoni ser niġġeneraw l-enerġija mill-iskart. Studju li ġie ikkummissjonat mill-NGO internazzjonali Zero Waste Europe intitolat The Potential Contri-bution of Waste Management to a Low Carbon Economy jindika li meta nirriċiklaw l-iskart niffrankaw bil-bosta iktar enerġija milli tista’ tkun iġġenerata meta jinħaraq l-istess skart. Allura fejn hu l-benefiċċju ambjentali?

Hemm bżonn ninvestu sforz ferm ikbar fir-riċiklaġġ tal-iskart. Din l-industrija għandha l-potenzjal li tiżviluppa f’pilastru ewlieni tal-ekonomija l-ħadra b’kontribut sostanzjali lill-ekonomija inkluż bil-ħolqien ta’ numru ta’ impiegi. Il-proposta tal-Gvern favur l-inċineratur ser joħloq ostaklu sostanzjali biex dan l-element importanti tal-ekonomija ċirkulari ma jitħalliex jiżviluppa.

Ikun ferm iktar utli kieku flok ma jwaqqaf kumitati dwar deċiżjonijiet li jkun diġa ħa, l-Onorevoli Ministru tal-Ambjent jipprova jifhem ftit x’inhu mistenni minnu.

Il-ħruq tal-iskart permezz tal-inċinerazzjoni ser iservi biex ikompli jnaqqas l-impenn tal-ftit li qed jirriċiklaw. Hu meħtieġ li minflok ma naħarbu mill-problema tal-falliment tal-politika dwar l-immaniġġjar tal-iskart neżaminaw bir-reqqa ir-raġunijiet għal dan il-falliment.

Ippubblikat fuq Illum : 24 ta’ Settembru 2017

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James Debono u s-suf t’għajnejja

 

Mela James Debono permezz ta’ artiklu ippubblikat illum fuq il-Malta Today żdied mal-lista ta’ dawk li qed jippruvaw joħorġu xi messaġġ politiku mis-suf t’għajnejja. Bħal dawk li jaqraw ix-xorti mill-weraq tat-te!

L-artiklu, avolja f’diversi aspetti hu inkorrett ma jdejjaqnix. Imma tajjeb li nwieġeb ftit.

James jargumenta li jiena u Arnold Cassola m’aħniex kapaċi nagħmlu kompromessi politiċi għax ma ftehmniex mal-PN bħalma għamel sieħbu, li waqt l-aħħar kampanja elettorali ipprova jaqdi l-funzjoni ta’ poster boy tal-PN.

Il-verità hi li l-PN mhux kompromessi ried imma sottomissjoni. Blank cheque. Ried jagħmel li jrid imma fl-istess ħin ried jgħodd il-voti flimkien għax kien mingħalih illi kien viċin u ħaseb li l-aritmetika setgħet tagħmel differenza.

Wara li dam tlett xhur itella’ u jniżżel jekk jiddiskutix magħna l-PN iddeċieda li jiddiskuti magħna ftit siegħat wara li kien ftiehem ma Marlene Farrugia.

Fi ftit kliem il-PN ried biss jimponi: jew fuq il-lista tiegħu jew xejn.

Stajna kieku ridna lagħbna id-double game bħal Marlene: taparsi niftehmu u nagħmlu ta’ rasna. Imma minnflok għażilna triq ċara u dritta.

Sal-lum jiena għadni konvint li f’AD għamilna l-għażla tajba, li bħal dejjem hi l-għażla d-diffiċli.

Incinerator? No thanks.

Waste is a resource which should be used instead of being thrown away. For this to be achieved, we need to change from a linear to a circular economy.

Malta’s waste management strategy identifies the year 2050 as the target for achieving zero waste going to landfill sites and in order to achieve this target, various policy tools are available.
In a linear economy, we use (or consume) a product and at the end of its useful life we throw it away. A circular economy functions differently in that at the end of its useful life, a product – or its constituent parts – remains in existence by being utilised to create another product.

Through waste minimisation, the waste we generate is reduced to the minimum possible. Life-cycle thinking is key to reducing waste throughout the useful life of a product and this is done when a product is still on the drawing board. Through the application of eco-design, the unnecessary constituent elements of a product are weeded out. In addition, these constituent elements are also examined to ensure that none of them impede eventual re-cycling at the end of the product’s useful life.

We can also minimise waste by ensuring that we purchase and use only that which is required in appropriate quantities. We can do this, for example, by using products in large sizes instead of similar multiple products in small sizes, which will result in less packaging being sent to waste.

The waste that is generated, notwithstanding a waste prevention policy, can be dealt with in various ways. The preferred option is to recycle it, that is to seek alternative uses. We recycle paper, metal, plastics and glass. We also recycle electric and electronic equipment. Recycling of the organic part of the waste we generate is also in hand in various localities.

Unfortunately only around 12 per cent of our waste is being recycled, substantially less than in other countries. This is a failure in implementing the objectives of the Waste Management Strategy. To cover up this failure, the Environment Minister, on behalf of the government, has proposed to embark on a process of incineration, targeting a maximum of 40 per cent of the waste generated in the Maltese Islands. The government is proposing that, instead of sending waste to landfill, it should be incinerated –  thus eliminating the problem of identifying more sites for landfills.

Incineration does not encourage citizens to care about what they consume. It encourages the throw-away society and sends the message that others will shoulder the problems created by our consumption.

We are being informed that incineration will generate energy from waste. A study commissioned by the international NGO Zero Waste Europe entitled The Potential Contribution of Waste Management to a Low Carbon Economy indicates that recycling of waste can save substantially much more energy that can be generated through the incineration of the same waste. So where is the environmental benefit of incineration?

More effort needs to be invested in the recycling of waste. The recycling industry has the potential of developing into a very robust pillar of the green economy, creating a number of green jobs. The government proposal in favour of incineration will be an insurmountable obstacle as a result of which this important element of the circular economy will not be allowed to develop.

Rather then setting up committees to consider half baked decisions, it would be more appropriate if the Honourable Minister for the Environment would attempt to master his brief.

Burning waste in an incinerator will further reduce the commitment of the few who are currently bothering to recycle. Instead of avoiding addressing the failure of implementing the waste management strategy, it would be more appropriate if the reasons for this failure are identified.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 24 September 2017

It-tmexxija ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

Aċċettajt li immexxi lill-Alternattiva Demokratika issa, f’dan il-mument kritiku. Mhux l-ewwel darba li ġejt nominat. Drabi oħra f’dawn l-aħħar disa’ snin ma aċċettajtx it-tmexxija li kienet offruta lili u minflok għażilt li nagħti sehmi taħt it-tmexxija ta’ ħaddieħor. Fil-fatt huma żbaljati dawk li l-bieraħ irrappurtaw li fil-passat jiena diġa kont Chairman ta’ AD. Fil-fatt ma kontx.

Il-bieraħ indirizzajt il-Laqgħa Ġenerali l-ewwel darba bħala Chairman. Fid-diskors tiegħi emfasizzajt li Alternattiva Demokratika trid torganizza ruħha aħjar. Idealment AD għandha tkun preżenti f’kull lokalità f’Malta u Għawdex. Mhux faċli, imma ċertament li dan hu possibli. Biex ikollna riżultati elettorali aħjar jeħtieġu li norganizzaw ruħna aħjar.

Biex dan ikun jista’ jseħħ hemm bżonn ta’ involviment ikbar da parti tal-membri ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika fil-ħidma ta’ kuljum tal-partit. Ħidma li nistgħu nippjanawha flimkien u nikkoordinawha aħjar.

Każini m’għandniex u l-anqas ma qiegħed nippjana li jkollna.

Waħda mill-ideat interessanti li qed nikkunsidraw hi dwar jekk ikunx għaqli li niftħu xi uffiċini reġjonali: tnejn jew tlieta. Dawn jistgħu jkunu l-bażi tal-ħidma tagħna mifruxa fil-pajjiż. Imma biex dan ikun jista’ jseħħ neħtieġu ħafna iktar riżorsi.

Din hi l-isfida tagħna għal dawn il-ġimgħat u x-xhur li ġejjin.

L-Air Malta u l-arroganza ta’ Konrad Mizzi

 

It-theddid ta’ Konrad Mizzi (f’isem il-Gvern) li jekk il-Unions fl-Air Malta ma jbaxxux rashom għal dak li qed jgħid il-Gvern ma jkollux triq oħra għajr li jagħlaq il-kumpanija u jerġa’ jiftagħha b’impjegati ġodda hi l-agħar forma ta’ arroganza ta’ Ministru.

U meta theddida bħal din tkun ġejja minn Ministru Laburista li l-partit tiegħu repetutament wiegħed li mhux ser jagħlaq l-Air Malta din mhux biss hi theddida imma fuq kollox hi manifestazzjoni ta’ iprokrezija grassa.

Mhux qed ngħid li ma hemmx bżonn tibdil fil-prattiċi industrijali fl-Air Malta. Probabbilment hemm ukoll element ta’ intransigenza li żviluppa fil-proċess tan-negozjati. Imma ikun tajjeb li Konrad Mizzi jifhem li l-proċess tan-negozjati hu “give and take”. Li tinnegozja jfisser li tifhem u tfiehem u wara li tagħmel dan tipprova issib soluzzjoni ġusta għaż-żewġ naħat.

Fl-aħħar għalhekk hemm l-arbitraġġ: biex jekk il-proċess tan-negozjati ma jwassalx, il-partijiet jippruvaw jaslu bl-involviment ta’ persuni indipendenti.

Imma kif nafu lkoll, aħjar soluzzjoni miftehma minn waħda imposta.

Nawgura lil Konrad li jiġi f’sensieh. Fl-interess ta’ kulħadd.

It-triq tan-niżla tal-PN

 

Tisma’ jew taqra l-kummenti konnessi mal-kampanja għall-elezzjoni ta’ Kap tal-PN bil-fors titħawwad u tistaqsi lilek innifsek: x’inhu jiġri? Min ħataf il-PN?

L-akkużi u l-insulti li għaddejjin min-naħa għall-oħra huma tal-mistħija u ma jixirqux mhux biss lil min qed ilissinhom imma l-anqas lill-partit innifsu li bla dubju jixraqlu ferm aħjar.

Imma t-triq tan-niżla ilha li bdiet, ħafna qabel it-tmexxija ta’ Simon Busuttil. Is-sinjali kienu hemm imma ħadd ma ried jagħti kaz tagħhom. L-arroganza kont tmissha b’idejk.

Issa l-PN wasal fl-istat li qiegħed illum. Ikun x’ikun ir-riżultat, kemm jekk jitla’ Chris Said kif ukoll jekk jitla’ Adrian Delia, l-PN irid jiffaċċja taħwid u diżillużjoni għal żmien konsiderevoli.

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AD tilqa’ b’sodisfazzjon il-konsultazzjoni dwar il-bidla tal-karozzi petrol u diesel għal dawk elettriċi

 

Alternattiva Demokratika tilqa’ b’sodisfazzjon l-aħbar tal-Prim Ministru li se jniedi konsultazzjoni dwar il-bidla minn vetturi li jużaw il-petrol u d-diesel – fabbrika tal-kanċer fil-qalba ta’ kull belt u raħal – għal vetturi elettriċi.

Il-kelliem ta’ AD Ralph Cassar qal:”Din il-bidla hija waħda mill-proposti konkreti li għamlet Alternattiva Demokratika fid-dokument tagħha Zero Carbon Malta 2050. Il-perjodu ta’ tranzizzjoni biex il-karozzi kollha ikunu elettriċi jiddependi minn ħafna fatturi fosthom kemm jeħtieġ żmien biex tinbidel l-infrastruttura li s’issa taqdi biss vetturi petrol u diesel għal infrastruttura li tinkludi skemi ta’ bdil, iċċarġjar u riċiklaġġ ta’ batteriji, kif ukoll perjodu biex karozzi eżistenti jinbidlu fi żmen raġjonevoli. Fuq medda qasira l-Gvern għandu jara li l-vetturi kollha tiegħu, dawk ta’ kumpaniji tal-kiri tal-karozzi u taxis jinbidlu għal dawk elettriċi. L-elettrifikazjoni tat-trasport pubbliku wkoll għandha tiġi ppjanata minnufih. Li huwa importanti li jkun hemm pjan b’miri ċari u tondi u li l-miri jinżammu.”

“Nemmnu li ma din l-inizjattiva importanti għandhom jittieħdu oħrajn b’mod immedjat biex tonqos il-konġestjoni fosthom li fi żmien qasir isiru sistemi nazzjonali ta’ passaġġi sura ta’ nies għar-roti u roti elettriċi tul il-bypasses kollha. Qed insejjħu biex ikun hemm inċentivi biex in-nies jitħajru jużaw ir-roti u roti elettriċi għall-commuting. Ma tagħmilx sens li jkun hemm ostakli bħal bżonn ta’ reġistrazzjoni ta’ roti elettriċi – l-użu tagħhom għandu jkun faċilitat u mhux imxekkel. Anzi għandu jkun hemm skemi li itaffu l-ispiża ta’ min jiddeċiedi li jixtri roti elettriċi. L-investiment f’infrastruttura għar-roti u roti elettriċi u inċentivi fiskali biex jingħataw spinta jqum ħafna inqas minn infieq f’flyovers u mini. Dawn il-proġetti u inċentivi jistgħu jsiru relattivament malajr. Skont figuri minn Londra l-introduzzjoni ta’ ‘bicycle superhighways’ żied l-użu tar-roti b’60%. Figuri oħra juru tnaqqis ta’ 35% fil-ħin tal-vjaġġ tal-vetturi meta tul toroq prinċipali ġew introdotti lanes separati u siguri għar-roti. Għal kull persuna li tuża r-rota ikollok anqas traffiku u anqas tniġġis fi żmien qasir.”

“L-elettrifikazzjoni tat-trasport għandha tkun marbuta wkoll ma’ investiment serju f’sorsi rinnovabbli tal-enerġija, mix-xemx, sal-mewġ, ir-riħ u sorsi oħra bħal gass naturali mill-irżieżet u d-drenaġġ. Il-mira ta’ 10% sas-sena 2020 hija ftit wisq. Malta għal darba għandha l-opportunita’ li tkun minn ta’ quddiem fil-bidla lejn ekonomija zero karbonju – ekonomija sostenibbli b’tipi ta’ xogħol f’livelli differenti għal kulħadd, u b’kwalita’ ta’ ħajja aħjar għalina lkoll.”

(din hi stqarrija għall is-stampa ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika)

 

 

Beyond roundabouts and flyovers

 

The need for adequate traffic management is apparently, at last, very high on the list of matters preoccupying the Maltese public. The solutions to the problems we face, however, depends on the behaviour of each and every one of us.

Traffic congestion is a constant irritation, as our roads are clogged for longer periods of time and in addition to wasting an ever-increasing amount of time in traffic, we are simultaneously constantly reducing the quality of the air we breathe.

Tackling traffic management adequately would hence address two fundamental issues: air quality and our clogged roads.

I do not dispute that improving the road network eases the flow of traffic. However, it has to be stressed that this is only a short-term measure. Adjusting the roundabout at Manwel Dimech Street in Qormi or the traffic lanes close to the airport or constructing flyovers at Kappara and Marsa will address and rationalise traffic movement now.

However, this further development of the road infrastructure is simply an encouragement for more cars to use our roads. It is only a matter of time when it will be the turn of the new developments to burst at the seams.

The present state of affairs is the direct result of the long-term neglect of transport policy. Public transport – as well as alternative means of transport – has been given the cold shoulder for far too long.

We require a transport policy that actively encourages the reduction of the number of vehicles on the road. Having around 800 cars on the road for every one thousand people in a small country is ridiculous. The small distances between localities in Malta and Gozo should make it much easier to encourage a reduction in dependence on the privately-owned car. Initiatives can be taken on a local level as well as between neighbouring localities. In such instances, it can be much easier to encourage the use of bicycles or the use of public transport or even to walk short distances: our health will surely benefit.

Isn’t it about time that we claim back ownership of our streets? We need more pedestrianised streets inaccessible to cars at any time of the day in every locality in Malta and Gozo. More streets need to be traffic-free, safe for children and parents to walk to school and back. We also need wider pavements for the use of pedestrians (not for tables and chairs to service catering establishments).

In the 2016 Budget speech, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna announced that, during 2017, government entities should be finalising sustainable transport plans. In the coming weeks these should be made public and, as a result, we expect that all government entities will commence addressing the mobility requirements of their employees and their customers. If carried out properly, this exercise could also impact on the private sector thereby (hopefully) substantially reducing a substantial number cars from our roads at peak times. In turn, this could have a considerable impact on public transport because with fewer cars on the roads, it should be more efficient.

Concurrently, government should also address the proposal to electrify the whole private transport sector through banning petrol and diesel cars from our roads, after a reasonable transition, and switching over to cars running on electricity. In Malta, this proposal was launched as part of Alternattiva Demokratika’s 2017 election manifesto. Since then, it has also been taken up by the French and UK governments. Removing petrol and diesel cars from our roads would substantially improve the quality of the air we breathe in all our localities and consequently in the long term will contribute to a considerable reduction of respiratory ailments.

This is the only way forward by which traffic is brought under serious control simultaneously ensuring sustainable mobility and improving the quality of our air.

 

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 10 September 2017

L-istil ġdid tal-politika

Il-voti li ġieb Adrian Delia fl-ewwel fażi tal-elezzjoni ta’ Kap tal-PN għandhom tifsira. Jfissru li (għal min ivvota lil Delia) dak li ntqal dwaru fil-ġranet li għaddew mhux importanti. M’għandu l-ebda sinifikat u piż.

Hi politika li qed trabbi l-egħruq fil-PN ukoll: politika tax-xejn m’hu xejn. Din hi l-politika ġdida li qed jippreżenta Adrian Delia.

Irridu naraw jekk ħmistax oħra din il-proposta għal-politika ġdida tkunx aċċettata jew le fl-aħħar votazzjoni. Għax imbagħad tkun il-politika ġdida tal-PN: tagħti każ ta’ xejn!

Russian roulette at Pietà

 

Introducing new blood in politics will not necessarily translate into a change for the better in the way in which it is conducted in Malta. It may well signify a backward step through the importation – lock, stock and barrel – of dubious and devious methods of operation from other areas of activity.

The current debate on the PN leadership contest has justifiably focused on the candidates’ ethical behaviour. Very pertinent in this respect is the report drawn up by the Consultative Committee on Ethics led by Louis Galea.  This report concluded that, in future, more time should be dedicated to ascertaining the suitability of candidates for top party positions.

It is now clear to everyone all that the appointment of the Consultative Committee on Ethics was in reaction to the information and comments published on the candidate Adrian Delia.

The Committee’s report laments that the restricted time-frame allowed was insufficient to enable it to carry out a rigorous examination and verification of the issues raised and the explanations offered. As a result, the report concluded, specifically in respect of Adrian Delia, that the serious doubts raised on his behaviour are still unresolved.

It is on this basis that the PN leader publicly opined that Adrian Delia should consider the withdrawal of his candidature. Having followed the public debate, as well as the available information, I tend to agree with Simon Busuttil’s position but consider that it may have been more appropriate if sufficient time had been allowed for the Ethics Consultative Committee to carry out its exercise. In the circumstances, a postponement of the election would have been more in order in view of the fact that the explanations given by the candidate Adrian Delia in public are in my view not convincing at all.

I am writing this on Friday evening before Saturday’s vote. There is a real danger that the PN Councillors would consider the ethics report inconclusive at face value and consequently a substantial number may consider giving Delia the benefit of the doubt. As a result, it would seem that the PN administration is playing Russian roulette with the future of the PN.

I believe that the PN has a duty, towards not just its members, but also towards the country to ensure that all the information available in thoroughly analysed. As a result a clear and unequivocal opinion would have been possible.

Having a half-baked report on matters of such importance may turn up to be suicidal for the PN. Those familiar with the PN councillors who turned up to vote yesterday are of the opinion that a substantial number of them would require a report which is clear and unequivocal to consider the ethical issues raised as a reasonable criterion for determining their preferred candidate.

I hope I am wrong, but it may well result that the PN has placed a loaded gun to its head.

published in the Malta Independent on Sunday : 3 September 2017