Wied Fulija, once a landfill holding 2 billion kg of waste has been successfully turned into a green lung in the locality of Żurrieq, through a project by WasteServ.
A staggering 43,000 trees and shrubs were planted over 10 hectares of land.
This extensive rehabilitation and afforestation will support local biodiversity to the extent that it will create another ecosystem of its own.
In fact, the project is built on the concept of returning land not only to the people — but to nature itself. It appears that the space was specifically designed to be low-maintenance and does not include much of the elements we have come to expect from a typical ‘park’, such as outdoor furniture.
It’s clear that if Malta is to reach its waste and environment-related targets it cannot rely any further on landfilling and unsustainable waste practices. As part of Government’s shift to a more circular economy, we have seen this concept at play through many projects and initiatives.
Over €500 million is being invested in the ECOHIVE project to revolutionise the waste sector in Malta, and a number of measures of the Long Term Waste Management Plan have already kicked off.
In all, the amount of land that will be given back to the public as green areas from former landfills — Wied Fulija, Qortin, and St Antnin — amounts to 170,000m2.
This €4.5 million investment into Wied Fulija will turn the former landfill into a green, open, and sustainable space including paved walkways which will make panoramic views accessible to all. But this rehabilitation project also looks to benefit the residents and farmers who live and work in the area, as it will replace the atmosphere of a landfill, with a living, growing, green lung.
WasteServ has also taken this project further in terms of protecting and fostering biodiversity, too, as it has partnered 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 are being placed along the sides of the plateaus to contribute to the conservation of Malta’s indigenous honey bee species (Apis mellifera ruttneri).