The MBB and MHRA this morning published recommendations submitted as part of the EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project, to the Chairperson of the Core Group for the Greening of the Economy. The recommendations focus on the contribution of grey-water treatment by the hotel industry as a Green Economy initiative.
The recommendations highlight that if a policy encouraging grey-water treatment were adopted the hotel industry could reduce its water consumption by nearly 500,000 m3 per annum, representing savings of around EUR 1,000,000. Apart from strengthening the competitiveness of the hospitality industry, this would also generate around 20 full time equivalent jobs in the private waste water treatment sector.
Grey-water treatment is the recycling of waste-water from showers and wash-hand basins to 2nd class water suitable for flushing toilets, irrigation, or other 2nd class water uses. The technology is available on the local market, with plants costing from EUR 15,000 to EUR 45,000, and offering an average of 4 years return on investment. Space requirements are minimal and can be met by most hotels - existing plants have been fitted into a pump room and even a large shaft.
“The key stumbling block to current investment in this technology is lack of awareness amongst operators, inadequate plumbing in existing buildings, and the fact that some other projects might offer more attractive returns, such as investments in energy efficient heating and lighting.” said Ing. Joseph Restall, MHRA Environmental Committee Chairperson. “A grant policy facilitating operators’ investment could help overcome these obstacles, and lead to a widespread implementation of grey-water treatment by hotels.”
The recommendations support the adoption of a policy encouraging the voluntary implementation of grey-water treatment, twinned with a financing system for environmental upgrade projects for hotels. The policy should aim at a widespread adoption of grey-water treatment over a medium term, as this would give hotel operators time to upgrade plumbing during infrastructural renovations.
The MBB and MHRA, partners on the EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project, also committed to raising awareness about the benefits and requirements of grey-water treatment amongst hotel operations, extending to beyond the EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project’s close in March 2014.
The recommendations are available for download on the top right hand corner of this page.
The MBB’s EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project receives 50% co-financing under the European Community’s LIFE funding programme, with the Ministry responsible the environment as the main co-financier, further co-financing and sponsorship from Easydry Malta, APS Bank, Island Hotels Group, and MSV LIFE.