COCOON Terms of Reference on the Closure, Aftercare and Rehabilitation of Landfills and Void Spaces



Start date: 16th November 2021

Closing date: 14th December 2021

Title of the public consultation: Public Consultation: COCOON – Terms of Reference on the Closure, Aftercare and Rehabilitation of Landfills and Void Spaces

Ministry: Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning

Entity: Environment & Resources Authority (ERA)


  1. Background

The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) is participating in an Interreg Europe project named COCOON. COCOON is a project which aims to improve regional policy on landfill management through an exchange of best practices and information between participating countries.

Landfills are considered as dynamic stocks of resources (such as landfill gas, water, etc.) that can be integrated into the economy, while landfill management (LfM) supports reclaiming land and avoids remediation and aftercare costs. The objective of the COCOON project is to develop, integrate and improve relevant policy instruments, while increasing subsidies through operational programmes (OPs) for LfM projects. COCOON brings together distinct EU regions to share and capitalise on regional good practices.

As part of Malta’s Action Plan under this project, the ERA applied lessons learnt from other partners on the rehabilitation of closed landfills to develop the first national Terms of Reference for landfill operators on best practices and procedures to follow for the closure, aftercare, and rehabilitation of landfills (hereafter referred to as ToRs).

Such ToRs are intended to be binding on all landfill operators through a new specific requirement to be included in the environment/IPPC permit of the operators issued by ERA as well as the development permit covering the rehabilitation or redevelopment of a landfill site or a dumpsite issued by the Planning Authority (which has been a key stakeholder through the project).

The aim of the draft ToRs is to cover the whole process including the closure, after-care and rehabilitation of a landfill, through the following:

  • Monitoring (including parameters to be monitored, frequency of monitoring, and the timeframe for monitoring after the closure) and thresholds;
  • Minimum and mandatory landfill cover and capping system to be installed (which takes into consideration the type of waste disposed of & the landfill dynamics in place since closure);
  • The minimum requirements and conditions to be applied in the rehabilitation of old dumpsites (i.e. non-engineered landfills and pre-accession to EU landfills); and
  • Criteria for the identification of sites and their possible after-use.


  1. Consultation

The public is invited to submit any feedback or comments on these terms of reference.


  1. Documents

Draft Terms of Reference of the Closure, Aftercare, and Rehabilitation of Landfills and Void Spaces


  1. Submission of feedback


  1. Further notes

Please be informed that comments submitted, together with the identity of the contributor, may be published online at the end of the public consultation, unless the contributor objects to the publication of his/her personal data. In this case, the contribution may be published in anonymous form.