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Home Policy Papers A Solid Waste Management Strategy for the Maltese Islands
Thursday, 21 September 2017
A Solid Waste Management Strategy for the Maltese Islands

The CoE has taken part in the consultation process on a national strategy for solid waste menagemnet and recently  published its position. The document says that the Chamber believes t is imperative that such strategic documents are renewed and updated so as to better reflect the current existing realities and to address specific developments in the particular sector.

'The 2009 document does build upon the principles within the document ‘A Solid Waste Management Strategy For The Maltese Islands’ published in September 2001 and we have identified a number of key elements which we hope will add value to the current proposals within the document.' according to the CoE.  Download the CoE's Position Document here

We are deeply convinced that the key underlying principles, as indicated below, are of strategic importance and should be further pursued in the updated strategy. The key factors that, in our opinion, the strategic document should reiterate are the following:
  • proximity and self sufficiency within the constraints of volumes and area of the Maltese Islands,
  • precautionary principles,
  • polluter pays,
  • waste hierarchy,
  • best practise environmental options and
  • producer responsibility.

From an Engineers’ perspective the CoE is satisfied to note that the document recognises that various technological solutions can be employed to alleviate waste management problems and obtain energy recovery from waste. We feel this is an important change from the past since traditionally, the community in general, did not look upon technology as having the potential to make a marked difference on the way we are addressing the waste management challenge in Malta. Together with the recognition that a cultural change is required in our habits this change in perspective towards technologically based solutions gives us added confidence in the possibility of achieving any set targets.

In our opinion however the above positive changes should not shift the attention or in any way alter the waste hierarchy principle. The first priority should clearly remain to reduce waste and only if this is not possible then one should consider reusing waste, recycle waste and finally recovery. The sheer fact that the domestic waste per capita in Malta has increased and is within the highest category of the twenty seven European countries as reported by Eurostat . (reference The Times of Malta, pg 3, dated Tuesday, March 10, 2009 ) should drive the respective authorities to become more forceful in implementing the necessary changes.

In this document we have prepared a number of generic observations about the strategy as detailed within the document issued for consultation. We have also included a number of recommendations focused on energy recovery, financial considerations and the dire necessity for appropriate standards required to regulate the waste management operations.

In conclusion, while the published strategic document sets the overall parameters for solid waste management in Malta for the next few years we feel that it requires immediate follow up with a follow up document which will specifically focus on the operational issues and which will define more tangible ideas on waste reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery. At this level the Chamber of Engineers commits to make a more detailed contribution.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 July 2009 15:18