Fabian Demicoli

Opposition Spokesman for Local Councils Hon David Agius meets Green MT

The Opposition Spokesman for Local Councils and Whip of the PN Parliamentary Group has visited the GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs offices in Valletta for a cordial meeting with Green MT in order to further understand its operation. He expressed that  stronger collaboration with GRTU and Green MT could lead towards providing an even better service for recycling and waste 

collection to residents. He stated that the next step forward is for Local Councils to work closer together for both recycled and mixed waste collection so that the service becomes more professional and effective whilst strengthening its viability.

Green MT Chairman Paul Abela and CEO Joe Attard outlined the current operations effected by Green MT in a substantial amount of Local Councils across Malta and Gozo. Issues discussed included the  current collection of grey bags from localities and issues relating to monthly glass collection and individual environmental initiatives taken by Green MT in individual localities such as St Julian’s and St Paul’s Bay.

At St Paul’s Bay Green MT caters for collection of carton and plastic from commercial entities daily. In the past this was undertaken in collaboration with the Local Council but recently this has become a fully-fledged Green MT operation. In the case of St Julian’s Green MT, together with the Local Council, has introduced a pilot project collecting glass from a designated amount of commercial outlets in the catering and hospitality sector. The amount of outlets using the service is expected to grow and the aim is therefore to ensure that such an entertainment hub does not dispose of any glass at the landfill through mixed waste. 

With regards to the implementation of the WEEE Directive, Joe Attard outlined that there are still a number of issues that need attention if Malta is to comply. Local Councils need to ascertain that Electrical and Electronic Equipment pertaining to WEEE is delivered to Authorised Facilities and not to scrap metal facilities as is still the case. The current bulky refuse collection system needs to be revamped to maintain a sustainable operation across Malta and Gozo and does not become an added burden to Local Councils due to the implementation of this waste stream directive. To this effect Joe Attard stated that Local Councils need more information in respect to waste stream directives currently in force under EU law. Green MT shall be holding a National Conference to disseminate further information to all Local Councils across Malta and Gozo.

Hon David Agius outlined the Opposition’s commitment towards more education, better service, cleaner environment and waste management. Whilst congratulating Green MT on its initiatives, he encouraged further dissemination of      environmental information at Local Council level. In addition he outlined that changes need to be effected in current waste management systems across Local Councils so that economies of scale are set in place and residents given an upgraded service.  Hon Agius further outlined that current allocation of funds to a number of Local Councils were not sufficient and it is high time that these are reviewed in respect to land-filling fees. The contribution of companies towards waste collection is a statement of the environmental credentials that Maltese and Gozitan businesses carry. Paul Abela emphasized that under the polluter-pays principle, everyone has to be responsible for the waste generated. To this effect both residents and the commercial community had to shoulder equal responsibilities to make sure that one does not have to pay for the other.

Hon Agius thanked Green MT for its operations at Local Council level and outlined his continued support to the operation whilst auguring that the WEEE implementation starting in September will have the least hiccups possible. Hon Agius continued by outlining that such meetings had to be held more often in the interest of the Local Councils and their residents. He concluded that residents, businesses and Local Councils have to work hand-in-hand whilst more education and information campaigns regarding collection times and related information would increase the positive commitment by all. This would lead towards   having cleaner localities and better service to residents. 

Green MT is a fully-owned subsidiary of GRTU, set up with the aim of aiding producer members and SMEs to comply with environmental legislation using the best technologies available at the lowest price. Green MT operates a Packaging Waste Compliance Scheme and has over 1100 registered members. For further information one can contact Green MT on 21496965/6.

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