Fabian Demicoli

The price of the product is what the buyer pays, the actual cost is what society pays

Green MT as an authorised waste packaging recovery scheme and fully owned subsidiary of the GRTU has opted to stop using Wasteserv Malta Limited facilities over what we feel are over-inflated charges.

 

Green MT has recovered 10,800 tons during the first nine months of this year and under the current agreement with Government, Green MT is supposed to use Wasteserv Malta Limited facilities to separate bale. Wasteserv subsequently sells the material on behalf of the scheme.

This was normal practice until Wasteserv provided their open book accountability for the first calendar year of operation. After having reviewed the figures it transpired that it was not cost-effective for Green MT to continue using the services of this material recycling facility. On behalf of its members, Green MT is committed to provide the best technical solutions at the least price possible.

Wasteserv Malta cannot pretend to be the Government. Green MT strives to manage the scheme as cost effectively and efficiently as possible and it is unacceptable that Wasteserv imposes a phenomenal charge for handling of material, which is four times more than the average rate similar management facilities pay in other EU countries, when we had an agreement.

Wasteserv unilaterally decided, and in our view illicitly, to withhold funds due to the company on the sale of materials it delivers to them for sale on the excuse that the charge for material handling is not what we agreed upon.

We charge a rate to our members per tonne based on the cost we agreed with suppliers and Wasteserv. Wasteserv cannot turn commercial practices upside down.

Through the Green MT initiative GRTU is helping its members carry their collective social responsibility. If Wasteserv cannot offer a service which is economically viable as a result of the high cost of operations, low level of efficiency and poor capital investment, then it is up to Government to resolve the impasse.

Green MT is also recovering much more then its legal obligations at law. However, the company also has contractual and moral obligations towards Local Councils and will without fail continue to provide a service to the community. In order for this service to continue Government would do well to make sure that the competent authority enforces on producers to be paying members of schemes. This is imperative for the services of recovery of recyclable waste from localities to continue.

There is always of course the other option, of Government not providing any enforcement at all but paying up for the service itself. This is no time for lip service. Government has to stand up to be counted when implementing such directives. Green MT cannot allow a situation where the few are paying for the many who have not yet registered as scheme members.

Green MT is committed to cleaner localities, and more. Zero Waste Strategy in no longer an option. While others sit back, Green MT is the leader and very proactive in the current implementation of the waste management strategy.

In respect to all packaging waste placed on the market, the price of the product is what the buyer pays, the actual cost is what society pays.

I intend, as member of EESC, to raise this issue at EU level as Maltese enterprises, being small in a remote location, can only meet their obligations under EU laws through the only facility they have, Wasteserv. This at a cost which is competitive when compared to the norm in other EU Member States and not more than four times more the burden suffered by our competitors.

I expect Government to intervene and find a solution as for the GRTU this situation is completely unacceptable and tantamount to a decision to destroy what has been diligently and laboriously built over these last years. What we have now on the table is nothing but a veritable farce.

Green MT is pleased to note that recovery from Birkirkara Local Council in June 2010 reached an all time record for recovery from any one locality in Malta. The scheme recovered 97.2 tons of packaging waste in June 2010, thus an average of 23.4 tons every week. This now means that Birkirkara Local Council is recovering 15.5 tons additional tons weekly since Green MT started recovery of separated waste in June 2009.

Vincent Farrugia

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