In view of the growing need for a stronger deterrent against illegal dumping, legal measures and fines against such abuses are being strengthened, the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning announced.
Fines on illegal dumping in public spaces will be increased. These penalties are divided into different categories according to the type of discarded material;
- clean limestone material;
- construction and demolition waste;
- material contaminated with hazardous waste such as asbestos, gypsum, paint and thinner;
- electronic equipment;
- other materials such as textiles, furniture, and agricultural waste.
The penalties are broken down as follows:
- A fine of one thousand euro (€1,000) for the disposal of less than one cubic meter of limestone or construction waste;
- A fine of three thousand euro (€3,000) for an amount in excess of one cubic meter of discarded limestone material – a fine which increases in proportion to the quantity of discarded material up to a maximum of thirty thousand euro (€30,000);
- A fine of four thousand euro (€4,000) for an amount in excess of one cubic meter of construction and demolition waste – a fine which increases in proportion to the quantity of the discarded material to a maximum of fifty thousand euro (€50,000);
- If such material is mixed with hazardous waste such as asbestos, paint, thinner or gypsum, the minimum penalty becomes six thousand euro (€6,000) instead of four thousand euro (€4,000);
- Penalties of no less than five hundred euro (€500) for discarding large electronic equipment in public places.
Recidivists will be given even harsher fines in an attempt to further deter offences.
In addition, other provisions will be strengthened by widening the scope of confiscation of vehicles and licenses used for the illegal disposal of waste. At the same time, the police are being given the power to ask the Court to impose the seizure of the vehicle used to commit the offence.
Minister Farrugia said that protecting the environment guarantees a better quality of life for all, and it is our duty to do so for future generations. He said that the Ministry, together with the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), will be doing their utmost to ensure that the environment is protected through stronger legislation and better measures for a cleaner future.
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Public Cleansing Deo Debattista explained the fundamental importance of public cleansing for the health of the Maltese general public. “As the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for public cleansing, I would prefer if we managed to control illegal dumping solely by educational measures. However, unfortunately there still are a few members of the public which are not abiding to the regulations and laws imposed. Which is why, as a government, we felt that additional measures had to be taken,” concluded the Parliamentary Secretary.
ERA CEO Michelle Piccinino stated that the amendments to these regulations have been made to serve as a deterrent to illegal dumping of waste from the construction industry and others, in order to further protect our natural environment and wellbeing.