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Understanding The Challenges Of Waste

By January 12, 2017 No Comments

This post is also available in: Maltese

Waste is one of the major challenges that Malta faces today. The amount of waste that Malta generates, is one of the highest in the European Union considering we are such a small country. A report published in March by Eurostat shows that a shocking 600 kilograms of waste was generated by each person in Malta in 2014. This makes Malta the sixth largest producer of waste in the EU..

Our small size alone makes a strong case for the immediate need to reduce our waste. With land availability finite and a high population density, our challenge and responsibility is to manage our waste properly. The main aim behind the national campaign DON’T WASTE WASTE (TAĦLIX L-ISKART) is to highlight this and raise awareness about the need for waste reduction and good management practices. The campaign also strives to highlight how waste is a valuable resource. Organic waste can be converted into clean energy, recyclables are exported as raw material for new goods whilst electronic and electrical equipment have many a precious metals which may be recovered if disposed of properly.

Our country’s infrastructure and services make it easy for all citizens to manage their waste. There is at least a weekly collection service in all localities for recyclable items which include plastic, paper, cartons and metal which should be placed in the appropriate green/grey bags for collection, sorting, baling and export. Not doing so and placing them in the black bag means that they will be landfilled, consuming the little space that is left and making a case for a new landfill. Civic amenity sites are open 7 days a week for householders to dispose, free of charge, of a variety of items, not least electrical and electronic equipment, white goods and hazardous household items such as spent paints and thinners, expired medicines and syringes as well as light bulbs. 9 localities in Malta and the entire region of Gozo are currently also separating their organic waste which is collected up to three times a week. With an eventual national rollout, our plants at Marsascala and Ghallis will operate more efficiently, generate more renewable energy and divert such waste away from the landfill The least we can do is to commit to managing our own waste properly.

Our challenge is round the corner. By the year 2020 these are a few of the challenges that we need to achieve:

  • Recycle 50% of paper, plastics, metal and glass waste from households;
  • Divert 65% of biodegradable municipal waste from landfills towards recycling and recovery;
  • Collect up to 65% of the average weight of electronic and electrical equipment placed on the national markets with a view towards recycling and recovery
  • Increase the collection of batteries to 45% of that placed on the market and ensure achievement of recycling efficiencies;

Your help and collaboration is essential. Do your bit and help us reduce the need for new landfills whilst contributing to a better environment for our enjoyment. Visit http://www.dontwastewaste.gov.mt.

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