Solid Waste Management in Malta and Gozo in 2000 – 2006
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Between the years 2000 to 2006 the waste amounts managed show a fluctuating trend, with the highest amount being recorded in 2004, when 2,874,853.56 tonnes of waste were sent to the treatment and disposal sites. The majority of the waste disposed is mostly non-hazardous mineral waste and debris material which is mainly composed of construction and demolition waste.This waste stream constitutes an average 84.54% of all waste managed in Malta. For the period 2003 to 2006, 68 per cent of the land filling of inert waste material was controlled by WasteServ Malta Ltd. The remaining 32 per cent was managed by the private sector.
Till April 2003, all solid waste generated was disposed in the public landfills at Magtab in Malta and il-Qortin in Gozo. However due to a change in waste disposal policy, the greater part of this waste began to be disposed in disused quarry sites from May 2003 onwards. The non-hazardous mineral waste disposed in disused quarries follows a fluctuating trend, with the highest amount recorded in 2004, when over 2.5 million tonnes of mineral waste was disposed of in this manner.
The change in waste disposal policy in 2003 brought about a decrease in the amount of waste being disposed in public landfills. Throughout the period under review, the highest amount of waste recorded was in 2002, when 1,591,669.42 tonnes of waste were landfilled. By 2006 the corresponding amount had gone down to 247,255.58 tonnes, a decrease of 84.47 per cent over the initial amount. Throughout the period under review the composition of landfilled waste changed as well. In 2000, 84.27 per cent of all waste landfilled was composed of debris material. By 2006 the corresponding figure had gone down to 1.82 per cent, and the dominant waste stream became municipal solid waste with a share of 67.54 per cent of the total amount of waste landfilled.
The other aspect of waste management in Malta is waste treatment, which is carried out at Sant’ Antnin Waste Treatment plant. On average the amount of waste treated in the period under review constituted just 1.74 per cent of all waste managed in Malta.
Leaving out the mineral waste and debris material from the total amount of waste managed in Malta, the treated waste streams account for 11.61 per cent of the waste managed in the country. The amount of waste treated also shows a fluctuating trend; however from 2002 onwards a steady increase in the amount of waste treated was recorded.In 2002 the amount of treated waste was just 5.88 per cent of the total amount of waste managed excluding debris material and mineral waste.By 2006 the corresponding figure had risen to 16.7 per cent. 87 per cent of the treated waste stream at Sant Antnin comes from the mixed municipal waste.
In Malta, separate collection began to gain momentum with the introduction of bring-in sites in July 2003. The amount of waste collected from bring-in sites has been on the rise ever since the introduction so that from 2004 to 2006 the amount of waste collected in this manner increased by 2.34 times