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PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND PLANNING AND BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS

Reference Number: PR202326en, Press Release Issue Date: Nov 20, 2020
Wied Fulija Landfill Rehabilitation reaches its final phase, collaborations with BirdLife Malta and Malta BeeKeepers Association
​Wied Fulija Landfill Rehabilitation reaches its final phase, collaborations with BirdLife Malta and Malta BeeKeepers Association  
 
The first few indigenous trees have been planted in Wied Fulija, a former landfill, by the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia and the Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi. 
 
Work on the rehabilitation of the Wied Fulija landfill in Żurrieq continues to progress at a rapid pace as the project is now in its final phase with the trees being planted. 
 
During a visit to the site, Minister Aaron Farrugia, Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, and WasteServ CEO Richard Bilocca, together with Żurrieq Mayor Rita Grima had the opportunity to plant the first trees on site. 
 
WasteServ started the rehabilitation of the Wied Fulija landfill in August 2019, restoring 6.5 hectares into a green area with a paved pathway for the public to be able to access the cliff tops, from where they can enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area. 
 
This project, part-financed by the Cohesion Fund, also included a surface water management aimed at promoting surface water runoff was also installed into the newly profiled mounds. The area will now be landscaped with indigenous plant species to mitigate the visual impact of the landfill and help it blend into its surroundings.
 
Minister Farrugia said that this project is transforming what was once a landfill to an area that can be enjoyed by the public. More importantly, the rehabilitation of this landfill is important given the agricultural land nearby and as well as the special protection areas in the surroundings. “The afforestation initiatives at this rehabilitated landfill will not only improve its visual appearance but also increase and support local biodiversity. This is another project which proves government’s commitment sustainability and improving our environment. After many years, an abandoned landfill is being developed into a site with ecological value which will benefit the community and wellbeing at large”, said Minister Farrugia. 
 
Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi explained that with an investment of €4.5 million, 91,000 sqm of land, which was used as a landfill in Wied Fulija, Żurrieq, is being rehabilitated. He said that after preparatory work is concluded various trees and shrubs will be planted, which will not solely make our environment look more beautiful but will also provide cleaner air so that we have more open spaces to be enjoyed by our families. He also emphasised that this project will be reaching its environmental objectives to reduce pollution and emissions for the benefit of the people living in the surrounding area. “The Wied Fulija project is rehabilitating a landfill so that now we will have an open space returned to the people living in the surrounding area and the general public”, concluded the parliamentary secretary. 
 
WasteServ CEO Richard Bilocca said that WasteServ has taken this project further as it will be partnering with BirdLife Malta to create a nesting site for the Yelkouan Shearwaters, which would serve both as a shelter and breeding grounds for these migratory birds. In another partnership with the Malta Beekeepers Association, beehives will be placed along the sides of the plateaus to contribute to the conservation of Malta’s indigenous honey bee species (Apis mellifera ruttneri).