Last Updated on Wednesday, 3 February, 2021 at 10:09 am by Andre Camilleri
WasteServ takes full note of the NAO report which gave a snapshot of the situation in the recycling sector – with a special focus on plastics – for the year 2019.
The report outlines a number of recommendations including the introduction of the polluter pays principle, the need for strategic investments, and the rationalisation of current packaging waste scheme agreements, all of which are now included in the Long-Term Waste Management Plan (2021 – 2030).
Since the fires that destroyed the Sant’ Antnin Recycling facility, Malta’s recycling performance was severely affected. Such negative trend has now been successfully reversed.
That which was outlined in the NAO report was already clearly visible even before the audit and this allowed us to be proactive. WasteServ can confirm that the implementation of most of the NAO’s suggestions are already in full swing.
Results are bearing fruit already, and in fact, despite the severe impediments put forward by the COVID pandemic, Malta’s figures, when it comes to the sale of recyclables in 2020, increased by 78% when compared to the same period in 2019.
This is one of the first of multiple expected spikes that will allow Malta to come close to its local and international obligations.
The first weeks of 2021 were even more positive with exponential improvements in material recovery. Looking at plastics alone, the subject of the NAO audit, our facilities are successfully processing a daily average of over 4 tonnes, a figure which continues to improve on a weekly basis. This is around three times higher than the already improved performance of 2020.
Our holistic strategy goes further than this. In fact, just this January, we announced a €2 million investment that will further improve these figures. This EU funded project will be operational by end 2021.
Going beyond this is the ECOHIVE strategy which involves the largest investment in Malta’s waste management infrastructure at €500 million, which also included a fully-fledged state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility, intended to allow Malta to be in a position to reach its recycling targets.
The NAO report also highlights the need for proper policy backup and in this regard WasteServ is delighted to note that the new draft Waste Management Plan (2021 – 2030) issued by the Ministry for the Environment Climate Change and Planning includes all the necessary provisions, including the polluter pays principle. This, together with a vast range of incentives and other measures, is intended to deliver the required changes with the general public’s performance expected to double over the next few years. The plan also includes important measures for commercial operators which so far were not covered by the expected level of compulsory provisions.
CEO Richard Bilocca explained how WasteServ, in full cognizance of the situation, is working day and night to improve Malta’s performance and expressed his great satisfaction that the efforts are already resulting in impressive results, with a 78% increase in 2020, and with a further threefold improvement in the first weeks of 2021.