A number of harsher fines and legal measures for those found littering or illegally dumping items or construction waste in Malta have been rolled out.
The fines are being categorised according to size and material, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said today.
Materials such as limestone, construction waste, hazardous waste like asbestos, electronic equipment and textiles are included in the updated list.
The penalties are broken down as follows:
- A fine of one thousand euro (€1,000) for the disposal of less than one cubic meter of limestone or construction waste;
- A fine of three thousand euro (€3,000) for an amount in excess of one cubic meter of discarded limestone material – a fine which increases in proportion to the quantity of discarded material up to a maximum of thirty thousand euro (€30,000);
- A fine of four thousand euro (€4,000) for an amount in excess of one cubic meter of construction and demolition waste – a fine which increases in proportion to the quantity of the discarded material to a maximum of fifty thousand euro (€50,000);
- If such material is mixed with hazardous waste such as asbestos, paint, thinner or gypsum, the minimum penalty becomes six thousand euro (€6,000) instead of four thousand euro (€4,000);
- Penalties of no less than five hundred euro (€500) for discarding large electronic equipment in public places.
People found breaking the law repeatedly will be given even harsher fines in an attempt to further deter offences, the minister said.
“In addition, other provisions will be strengthened by widening the scope of confiscation of vehicles and licenses used for the illegal disposal of waste. At the same time, the police are being given the power to ask the court to impose the seizure of the vehicle used to commit the offence,” his ministry said.
Minister Farrugia said that protecting the environment “guarantees a better quality of life for all, and it is our duty to do so for future generations”.
He said that the Ministry, together with the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), will be doing their utmost to ensure that the environment is protected through stronger legislation and better measures for a cleaner future.
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Public Cleansing Deo Debattista explained the fundamental importance of public cleansing for the health of the Maltese general public.
“As the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for public cleansing, I would prefer if we managed to control illegal dumping solely by educational measures,” he said.
“However, unfortunately, there still are a few members of the public who are not abiding by the regulations and laws imposed, which is why, as a government, we felt that additional measures had to be taken.”
ERA CEO Michelle Piccinino stated that the amendments to these regulations have been made to serve as a deterrent to the illegal dumping of waste from the construction industry and others, in order to further protect our natural environment and wellbeing.