Malta nowhere near its waste man­age­ment tar­gets – GreenPak CEO

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

Malta is still far from reach­ing its waste man­age­ment 2020 tar­gets, GreenPak CEO Mario Schem­bri told The Malta In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day, high­light­ing the ur­gent need for con­sumers to re­cy­cle more of their ma­te­ri­als.

Es­tab­lished in 2004, GreenPak is a post-con­sumer waste re­cov­ery co­op­er­a­tive owned by the very com­pa­nies us­ing GreenPak’s com­pli­ance ser­vices.

The need for less garbage to be sent to Maghtab is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant as com­plaints about odours em­a­nat­ing from the land­fill resur­faced this sum­mer.

The gov­ern­ment’s 2014-2020 Waste Man­age­ment Plan’s aim is to move waste man­age­ment in Malta up the waste hi­er­ar­chy through in­creased preven­tion, re-use, re­cy­cling and re­cov­ery. This de­pends on the trans­for­ma­tion of a va­ri­ety of char­ac­ter­is­tics, not least cur­rent pop­u­la­tion habits, waste vol­umes gen­er­ated, waste col­lec­tion prac­tices, waste in­fra­struc­ture and out­put mar­kets.

Mr Schem­bri said that the tar­get in 2013 was to limit or­ganic waste (Biodegrad­able and Mu­nic­i­pal Waste – BMW) to un­der 70,000 tonnes. “Ac­cord­ing to lat­est avail­able data in 2011, Malta sent al­most dou­ble the tar­get – around 110,000 tonnes to land­fill. No other of­fi­cial data is cur­rently avail­able in the pub­lic do­main on this since 2011. Malta’s aim is to send less than 50,000 tonnes to land­fill by 2020,”

While the amount has de­creased from 161,000 tonnes back in 2009, Malta still has a way to go to reach its goal.

“We should have al­ready reached our tar­gets, but we have been given an ex­tended pe­riod,” Mr Schem­bri said.

The same sta­tis­tics for 2011 also show that 9,100 tonnes of BMW was re­cy­cled, and 10,000 tonnes were re­cov­ered.

As for Waste Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tronic Equip­ment (WEEE), the tar­get is to col­lect 65 per cent of the av­er­age weight of elec­tri­cal and elec­tronic equip­ment. In 2012, col­lec­tion was recorded at 20.39 per cent, he ex­plained.

Turn­ing to pack­ag­ing, Mr Schem­bri said the over­all tar­get for the re­cy­cling of pack­ag­ing was 55 per cent, “How­ever, in 2011, over­all re­cy­cling of pack­ag­ing was recorded at 42.3 per cent. Ac­cord­ing to Euro­stat, Malta’s 2014 over­all per­for­mance for pack­ag­ing was 41.1 per cent.”

He ex­plained that an­other new tar­get for a dif­fer­ent waste stream comes into ef­fect in 2020. This is for the re­cy­cling of newsprint, mag­a­zines and junk mail. “The tar­get for 2020 is 50%. So far, no of­fi­cial data is avail­able on how much house­hold waste, in­clud­ing pa­per, is re­cy­cled.”

Mr Schem­bri be­lieves the Mal­tese are be­ing pam­pered when it comes to waste col­lec­tion. “There is no place in Europe, aside from Malta, which has daily door-to-door col­lec­tion. Here in Malta, there are lo­cal coun­cils that even of­fer col­lec­tion ser­vices on Sun­days. Hav­ing such an ex­cel­lent ser­vice, how can one ex­plain the fact that lit­ter­ing re­mains a prob­lem plagu­ing the is­land?

“Why do peo­ple still go to a bring-in site to il­le­gally dump their black garbage bag next to it? Why do peo­ple go through the la­bo­ri­ous process of car­ry­ing a wash­ing ma­chine to their car to dump it in the coun­try­side, when all they have to do is call the coun­cil to book the bulky refuse truck?

“This is most def­i­nitely linked to pub­lic be­hav­iour. They are pam­pered, and some are still so nar­row-minded they don’t re­alise the ex­cel­lent ser­vice they re­ceive,” he said, adding that sep­a­rat­ing waste still has a long way to go for Malta to reach its tar­gets and make an en­vi­ron­men­tal dif­fer­ence.

Read the full in­ter­view with Mario Schem­bri in to­mor­row’s edi­tion of The Malta In­de­pen­dent, in which Mr Schem­bri high­lights is­sues re­lated to en­force­ment and bring-in sites

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