Higher rate of discarded vehicles leads to hazardous waste generation

The amount of hazardous waste generated in 2015 grew by 36.4% due to an increase in discarded vehicles and chemical wastes

17 January 2017, 11:50am
Discarded cars grew by 10,937 tonnes in 2015 (File photo)
Discarded cars grew by 10,937 tonnes in 2015 (File photo)
While non-hazardous waste in 2015 fell by 3.1%, the amount of hazardous waste generated grew by 36.4% due to an increase in discarded vehicles and chemical wastes, according to the National Statistics Office.

The data showed that the total amount of solid waste generated in 2015 amounted to 1.9 million tonnes, which is a 2.4% decrease over the previous year.

The NSO said that waste treatment registered a drop of 1.1% when compared to the preceding year. The driving agent for this drop was a steep decrease of 86.2% in the management of waste that was treated as disposal at sea, the NSO said.

Waste treatment was mainly carried out by means of backfilling, with more than half the total amount, followed by recycling at 26.2%.

Waste disposed at the G─žallis landfill went up by 7.3%, which was mainly a result of increased household and similar wastes (16,022 tonnes) and wood waste (14,398 tonnes). On the other hand, the for sorting residues and common sludges saw the most marked decreases, with a fall of 6,007 tonnes and 2,069 tonnes respectively.

Furthermore, waste treated at the Sant’Antnin waste treatment plant registered a drop for the second year in a row by 6,917 tonnes, or 11.4%. Cutbacks occurred for all waste categories, the highest being for sorting residues by 3,920 tonnes. At the waste treatment level, a decline of 23.7% was registered for the output of waste for recycling in overseas facilities. On the other hand, the output of waste for temporary storage doubled, whilst the output of sorting residues to the anaerobic digestion plant increased by 6.5%.

Total waste incinerated at the Marsa thermal treatment facility decreased by 437 tonnes, falling by 7.1% over the previous year. Lower amounts of animal and mixed food waste, which itself decreased by 5.7% contributed to this decrease, according to the NSO. Animal and mixed food waste represents 90.9% of the waste treated at this facility.

During the year under review, waste output from private pre-treatment facilities amounted to 78,372 tonnes of which 89.7% were exported for recycling or recovery.

Inert waste treatment in 2015 was characterised by a decrease of 1.6% in treated amounts. This was mainly due to a drop of 90.2% in the disposal at sea of dredging spoils, which was partially offset by an increase of 68.9% in the backfilling of mineral waste from construction and demolition.

In 2015, the separate collection of waste fractions from Civic amenity sites increased by 2,733 tonnes, or 11%, in part due to the opening of a new facility in May.

Households showed a greater preference for the door-to-door collection of green/grey bag and glass containers over bring-in sites for the disposal of recyclable waste. In fact, the former increased by 2,035 tonnes (15.8%) while the latter decreased by 1,088 tonnes (29.1%)