Two legal notices published today in the Government Gazette are putting into effect the mandatory separation of waste, following a public consultation about these regulations by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) last November.
As from 14 April 2023, two months after the publication of these new regulations, waste separation will be enforcable by law for everyone, including businesses, governmental and non-governmental entities as well as private homes. This means that you will no longer be allowed to dispose of organic waste in the black bag as this will now have to be put into the designated white bag. The same applies to recyclable waste such as plastic and paper and other materials which have to be separated and disposed of in the grey bag designated for recycling. Glass will no longer be allowed to be put in the black or grey bag but must instead be separated and taken out for municipal door-to-doorcollection by itself every first and third Friday of the month, as per existing municipal waste collection schedule.
Nonetheless, during the first six months, between April and October, the authorities will be conducting an educational campaign for the public to familiarise themselves with these new regulations. Throughout this period, persons caught disposing of waste inappropriately will receive a warning. After the lapse of these six months, whoever is caught disposing of waste inadaquately will be fined €75 for businesses and €25 for hoseholds. These fines will double to €150 and €50 respectively if the individual is caught repeatedly disposing of waste inappropriately.
ERA officials and officials from other entities will be carrying out continuous inspections in all localities to assure that the waste that is being deposited for door-to-door collection is separated in line with the regulations, in the the appropriate bags taken out on the correct days. This follows a new schedule that was introduced in January by the regional councils, who are responsible for waste collection from households on behlaf of the local concils.
In addition to door-to-door waste collection, residents in Malta and Gozo can also continue to use other methods, including taking recyclable waste in the I-bins and bring in sites in every locality or in the roadshow truck and the civic amenity sites operated by Wasteserv, as well making use of the free bulky waste collection service offered by the local councils.
More information on how to separate waste can be found here: https://www.wsm.com.mt/en/waste-separation-guide
Over the past few years, significant progress has been achieved in terms of household waste separation. This was possible thanks to the various information campaigns educating the public on how to separate waste. In fact, from year to year the amount of recycled waste for exportation has increased.
However, about 40% of the waste that is thrown in the black bag, is organic waste (food), which we are supposed to throw in the white bag to be processed for the generation of clean energy. This means that this waste is ending up in landfills when it could be turned into a resource. The same applies to recyclable waste, as many materials that can be put in the grey bag are still thrown in the black bag.
With the introduction of mandatory waste separation, the authorities are working to further mitigate the impacts of waste on the environment. The more waste we separate properly, the less landfills are needed. Currently, 90% of Malta’s municipal waste ends up in landfills. The national target according to the Malta Waste Management Plan 2021-2030, and according to the waste and landfill directives of the European Union is that by 2035, municipal waste to landfills is decreased to 10%.
14 February 2023