Malta is about to get serious on waste recycling, with a new law in the pipeline making it obligatory for people to recycle organic and non-organic waste.
Environment minister Jose Herrera today announced that a massive incineration plant will be built at Maghtab by 2023, but this will only be large enough to treat 40% of the island’s waste and the remaining 60% will still have to be recycled.
And the government is determined that it will not be business as usual.
“Educational campaigns have been launched and progress has been registered, but it is not fast enough,” a spokesperson for Herrera told Lovin Malta. “People often just don’t bother recycling or throw rubbish carelessly inside recycle bring-in sites, so we need a law that obliges people to recycle.”
The details have yet to be ironed out but a special directorate will be set up within the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) to enforce recycling.
“We are looking at different models,” Herrera’s spokesperson said. “For example, wardens can be sent to check rubbish bugs and send surveillance teams when they notice problem areas. People will automatically start recycling more if they realise not doing so is in breach of the law.”
Other initiatives will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months move Malta towards a circular model of waste management. The separation of organic waste, currently being tested out in various towns, will become nationwide by September and details of a plastic bottle deposit scheme will be launched in the coming weeks.
European statistics for 2015 show only 6.7% of waste in Malta gets recycled, down from 10% in 2012. Yet the island must up its game and soon, as new EU rules require member states to recycle 55% of their municipal waste by 2025, rising to 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035.