WasteServ Malta - Maghtab Environmental Complex
Maghtab Environmental Complex

Magħtab Environmental Complex is an area as large as our capital city Valletta and is spread over an area of 0.6km2. It houses a number of waste management facilities namely, a civic amenity site, the rehabilitated Magħtab old dump, Żwejra engineered landfill, Gas plant composed of RTO’s flare and LFG powered generators, Għallis engineered landfill and Malta North Mechanical and Biological Treatment Plant.


Magħtab old landfill


Upon taking responsibility for waste management in the Maltese Islands, one of Wasteserv’ s main priorities was to decommission the operational landfills at Magħtab in Malta and Qortin in Gozo. Instead, the company was to establish more sustainable methods of waste treatment and disposal.


The average weight of mixed waste received annually at the Magħtab old dump was approximately 1.6 million tonnes. The major fraction of this waste, 80% by weight, was inert waste generated from rock excavations and construction and demolition activities.


One of the first steps was to stop this inert waste from being landfilled. Instead it has since been diverted to old quarries where it is used to restore the landscape by filling the void space which has been excavated through quarrying. Because this waste is inert, it therefore does not release harmful by products into the surrounding soil and underlying water table.


Engineered landfills

In place of the old dumpsites, new engineered landfills were introduced representing a new era of waste disposal in Malta. The engineered landfills were specially lined to prevent harmful substances from leaching into the soil and water table while systems for gas extraction were also introduced.


The first of such landfills was Ta’ Żwejra which we started used as our main landfill right upon joining the EU in 2004 until 2007. (we still have space in this site should we have an emergency and we need to use it. We used it sporadically as per necessities later on).

The site for this new landfill was developed at the southern end of the Maghtab landfill, which investigations found to contain mainly inert waste. The same inert waste was used to cover the Maghtab dump so as to reduce emissions into the atmosphere from waste deposited on the dump. The relocation of this waste created the necessary space for the creation of the first engineered landfill, used between 2004 and 2006.

During this time Wasteserv worked on establishing a long-term engineered landfill facility, namely that of Għallis. Għallis’ was initially designed to last roughly seven years, though its lifetime has been extended mainly thanks to the introduction of waste treatment plants and other initiatives such as more intense education campaigns and the organic waste pilot project.


please click here to access the site rules in English 

please click here to access the site rules in Maltese


Gas Plant

The Gas Plant situated within the Magħtab Complex is used for the treatment of harmful gases both from the engineered landfills and also from the closed Magħtab dumpsite. Gases from these sites are treated in a Regenerative Thermal Oxidiser, while gases from the engineered landfills are treated either via high temperature flares or a landfill gas powered generator technology. In all cases, emissions are monitored to ensure that they remain within acceptable and safe levels. 


Renewable energy

Back in 2007, to celebrate the symbolic beginning of electricity generation from solid waste in Malta, a large Christmas tree 15 meters high was installed on the top of the waste hill at the closed landfill of Magħtab and the 500 bulbs were energised from landfill gas. The Christmas tree was, in fact, powered by an electrical generator modified to run on gas generated from waste in the Ta’ Żwejra Engineered Landfill.


The estimated amount of energy expected to be generated from the landfill facilities at the Magħtab Environmental Complex is producing enough energy to power 350 homes however this shall increase overtime


The total amount of power generated (solely from landfill gas) for the year 2019 is 901,713 kWh.


Mechanical & Biological Treatment Plant

When SAWTP was set up, it was designed to process and treat 30% of the total MSW generated on the Maltese Islands. The rest of the MSW was still being landfilled at the Għallis Engineered Landfill.

In order to reach targets imposed on Malta by the European Union it was required that our country sets up a facility to treat the remaining MSW.

With a €50m investment partly financed by the EU through the Cohesion Funds, Malta North Mechanical and Biological treatment Plant was set up. This facility was inaugurated in February 2016.

The setting up of this plant enabled the country to address waste management issues through 3 different sections:


Mechanical Treatment Plant (MTP)

This facility segregates mixed household waste, referred to as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), into five fractions: organic waste; ferrous metals; non-ferrous metals; refuse derived fuel (RDF); and rejects. The organic waste undergoes further treatment, while metals present for recycling and RDF is exported.  Only the rejects will be landfilled. The facility has the capacity to receive and treat 66,000 tonnes per annum of residual household wastes.





Bulky waste facility


The Mechanical Treatment Plant which was aimed at processing bulky waste from skips has been modified to accept the grey and green bag after the unfortunate incident at SAWTP in May 2017.  On this line recyclable material is mechanically and manually separated in different waste streams in order to be prepared for exportation and recycling until a new facility for this purpose is set up. 


Anaerobic Digestion Plant (AD Plant) / Biogas Plant


This facility caters for the treatment of the organic fraction extracted in the first process, together with animal manure. The facility has the capacity to process 39,000 tonnes per annum of the organic fraction extracted from the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as well as solid and liquid manure. This waste will be treated in order to recover energy from biogas which is produced naturally from the anaerobic treatment process.