Monday, February 3, 2014

Sliema top locality for recycling

James Debono
Malta Today 2/2/14

Residents in Sliema are separating the greatest amount of waste, with each resident separating an average 49kg in the first eleven months of 2013.

The amount of waste separated in Sliema was twice the national average of 25kg per resident.

This emerges from an analysis of statistics presented to parliament showing the total amount of waste deposited in grey bags in each locality. The amount of waste for each locality was than divided by the number of residents.

The analysis shows that localities in the south of Malta and the inner harbour area, are the least likely to separate their waste. This seems to tally with other social indicators showing inner harbour localities having the lowest levels of educational achievement.

Surprisingly, Marsaskala residents are among the least civic-minded. Despite hosting the Sant' Antnin recycling plant, and therefore having a direct interest in reducing the amount of mixed waste entering the plant, each resident only separates 16kg of waste.

The lowest level of separation is registered in Malta's capital city Valletta, where only 42 tonnes of separated waste was collected between January and November 2013. This amounts to just 7kg per resident.

Waste separation rates are also low in Gozo, where on average each resident separates 20kg of waste, 5kg less than the Maltese average.

Presently people are expected to put out the grey bag for recyclable packaging waste on Tuesdays.

Under the new waste plan, by 2015 the collection of mixed waste will take place only once a week, while the collection of organic waste will take place three times a week. Presently no separate collection exists for organic waste, while the collection of black bags - containing mixed and organic waste - takes place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Only 23% of waste is currently being separated. The target for 2020 is to increase the rate of separation to 50%.

The low rate of separation creates a dependency on landfills.

"Basically by putting all kinds of waste in a mixed bag we would occupy more space in a landfill. It is only be minimizing the amount of waste that we can minimize the need for facilities. In this way we also minimize the impact on resources like energy and land use," waste policy coordinator Kevin Gatt warned in an interview published on MaltaToday back in November 2013.

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