Civic pride: Maltese reduce waste in black bags by 23%

When comparing data for the same period of the previous year, the amount of waste collected in black bags fell by 23% whilst the green/grey bag waste increased by 39%

In the first year since the start of the organic waste collection a total of 27,536 tonnes of organic waste has been collected separately in white bags. This amounts to 55kg per inhabitant and approximately 153kg per household.

“This positive result surpassed our expectations, making this project a successful one,” Wasteserv’s CEO Tonio Montebello told MaltaToday on the first anniversary of the organic waste collection.

When comparing data for the same period of the previous year, the amount of waste collected in black bags fell by 23% whilst the green/grey bag waste increased by 39%. Glass collection also increased by 75%.

According to Montebello, the success reflects the effectiveness of the Sort It Out educational campaign, together with the provision of the ventilated bins and bags provided free of charge to every household which made it easier for the public to adapt to the behavioural change and responded positively.

“We are still after more public cooperation through increased waste separation and adherence to the waste collection schedule in their respective locality. This will not only reduce littering but also increase the potential to use waste as a resource,” Montebello said.

Composting of organic waste

Gases from organic waste collected from households are treated and used to produce energy. In this way harmful gases do not find their way in the environment.

The digestate i.e. the residue left after gases are treated and recovered as energy is presently used as a landfill cover i.e. the layer of compressed earth which is laid on top of a day’s deposition of waste in the engineered landfill in Maghtab.

Wasteserv is presently investing in upgrading the Sant’ Antnin facility in order for this plant to process organic waste only.

Once this upgrade is in place, it will conduct studies to determine the properties of the waste received. “This will give us a clearer picture of what can be done with the digestate left at the end of the process.”

Wasteserv is also planning a new facility for the treatment of organic waste at the Magħtab Environmental Complex in the coming years, where the digestate at the end of the process will “be good enough to be used in the agricultural sector”.

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