Proposed rubbish collection hours ‘logistical nightmare’ for Valletta shops

A proposed waste collection scheme at night in Valletta could turn out to be a nightmare for business owners, one restaurateur told MaltaToday 

A proposed waste collection scheme at night in Valletta could turn out to be a nightmare for café owners and restaurateurs.

Earlier this month, a public consultation was launched on proposed changes to the Litter Act to change collection hours for waste, as Valletta prepares to take up the mantle of European Capital of Culture in 2018.

Under the proposed changes, waste will be collected between midnight and 3am, and between 3pm and 5pm every day, including Sundays and public holidays.

But one restaurateur, who preferred to stay anonymous, told MaltaToday the proposed plan had various logistical problems.

According to this complainant, the allocated times for waste collection make no sense for both business owners and residents.

“It’s totally ludicrous,” she said. “Residents won’t be home between 3pm and 5pm… and they won’t be happy being woken up by waste collections happening between midnight and 3am.”

One Valletta resident, Reuben Grima, agrees. “This proposal is a non-starter for residents like myself,” he said in a comment posted on MaltaToday’s comment-board. “We cannot be at home between 3pm and 5 pm, because we are at work, and we would rather not wait up till midnight to take out the rubbish.” The restaurateur adds that waste collection cannot be seen as an isolated problem in a city like Valletta.

“Although Valletta is being reformed in the run up to Valletta 18, there are still various major issues which aren’t being tackled. There is no form of recycling for businesses and there is no source for recyclable waste integrated in the new plan. Although the city is packed with retail shops and restaurants, all their waste, including cardboard boxes, glass bottles and organic waste is collected together,” she said.”

And while businesses in Valletta pay a separate fee for waste collection and have their waste collected separately from residents, business owners are never informed who the collecting companies are, which means that if a problem occurs they cannot contact anyone.

There are around four of five different waste collecting companies in Valletta just for restaurants owners, on top of different collectors for retail, a waste collector for residents, as well as the bulky services.

“It is polluting Valletta with a lot of unnecessary vehicles,” the restaurateur said.

She believes such issues should not be tackled just by politicians, but also by experts in the area.

“Although the politicians tackling issues in Valletta are trying to create better systems, they do not properly know how to logistically manoeuvre the issues.” This, she says, is evident in the idea that fines of up to €2,000 would fix such problems like waste collection.

“It’s very hard for businesses to bring in deliveries and supplies throughout the week, not to mention the massive parking problem inside the city. These issues should all be tackled together, rather through than separate plans which create further problems.”

More in Valletta 2018