The Malta Independent 24 September 2018, Monday

Waste Management Best Practices rewarded at Wasteserv’s annual awards ceremony

Friday, 18 March 2016, 13:26 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Malta Waste Reduction Awards 2015 were organised by Wasteserv at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta. This annual event follows a Europe-wide initiative held each year in November: the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR), in which a record of 85 local entities participated in 2015.

The ceremony showcased all the actions that took place in Malta and Gozo and also gave recognition to the local councils participating in the pilot project for organic waste collection, a project which kicked off in October 2015. The awards were presented on the night by Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change, Leo Brincat and Wasteserv CEO, Tonio Montebello as well as Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government, Stefan Buontempo who co-presented the organic project awards.

Addressing the guests, Minister Leo Brincat said that while waste is a useful and precious resource which needs to be used wisely, it is also important that we do our best to create less waste in the first place.

The Minister announced that a decision is going to be taken on whether food waste should be regulated, following the agreement in the Budget 2016 that such a decision should be considered after a study on whether the market and the particular circumstances of the country make it sensible and necessary. This study is expected to be completed in the coming days for consideration of the Government itself.

He continued that this is just one concrete example of how the Government intends to intensify its efforts, not only better and more professional waste management, but also to reduce the waste generated in our country independently of economic growth.

Minister Brincat said that another process to be initiated this year is a wide-ranging consultation regarding the collection of commercial waste.

Malta is one of the 33 coordinators for this European initiative, who brought together an impressive 12,000 initiatives across Europe in November 2015. Chairman of Wasteserv, David Borg said that last year’s EWWR, themed Dematerialisation, was another record year locally with a total of 120 awareness-raising actions about waste prevention and recycling as well as clean-ups. These were organised by 85 entities in Malta and Gozo. “We should be proud that every year, despite the small size of our Islands, the local participation compared to the number of initiatives in other countries is always considerable,” he said. “In 2015 Malta came in 8th place after big countries such as Italy, France, Spain and Germany.”

Focusing on the upcoming EWWR 2016, Mr Borg encouraged further participation in the next edition this November, which this year will be aimed at reducing packaging waste.  

For the first time this year, the awards ceremony also recognised participation in the organic waste pilot project. “The 9 participating localities account for 20,000 households and we are glad to see that the majority are cooperating very well with the new system,” continued Mr Borg.

Out of the 5 localities involved in the first phase of the project, which commenced in October 2015, the first prize was awarded to Mdina Local Council, followed by Birkirkara in second place and Hal Ghaxaq in third place. The prizes were €5000, €3000 and €2000 respectively, to be used for environmental projects in the locality. The winners in this category were selected based on: residents’ participation in the project; the amount of organic waste collected per capita; reduction in the amount of black bag waste; and increase in the quantity of recyclable waste.

The local initiatives for the European Week for Waste Reduction were grouped under 7 different categories, with awards going to:

·         Associations Category: Youth for the Environment

·         Business Category: Soap Café (prize sponsored by Outdoor Living)

·         Citizens Category: Mr Joseph Bouvett (prize sponsored by Fortina Spa Resort)

·         Public Administration Category: Hal Ghaxaq Local Council

·         Schools Category: Bishops Conservatory Secondary School, Victoria Gozo

·         Clean-up Awareness Category: St. Margaret College, Xghajra Primary

·         Recycling Best Practice Category: Ministry for Energy and Health.

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