The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

St Paul’s Bay mess: the waste saga continues

Giulia Magri Thursday, 20 June 2019, 16:17 Last update: about 4 months ago

St Paul’s Bay, Qawra and Bugibba area are literally littered in garbage bags and uncollected waste. Time and time again throughout the past six months, residents have issued complains and calls for appeals to clean the streets and to take care of the area. Pictures show streets littered with numerous black bags piled on top of each other, organic bags left to rot and boxes of garbage spewing on pavements.

The latest news is that numerous residents have reported seeing rats the ‘size of cats’ running around Qawra and other areas. The waste problem has been highlighted in news media throughout the year, and The Malta Independent had previously contacted the Local Council back in January, when residents were already renaming St Paul’s Bay as the ‘new Maghtab.’

This has become a national issue not just a local issue- St Paul’s Bay Local Council

The issue of waste is not just an issue in St Paul’s Bay but it has become a national issue, said a representative from the St Paul’s Bay Local Council. The representative stressed that the moment councillors and representatives walk into the Council they tackling the issue of waste all day long. “The moment I walk into the office I am faced with numerous complaints and issues on waste and garbage collection. We are doing the best we can.”

The representative stated that on Wednesday morning alone, the council vans had collected 2000 kilos of waste, and that this is done every day. “We are constantly trying to inform people the recycling scheme, but it seems that some people do not wish to learn.” The representative continued to say that the Local Council is doing its best to tackle the issue, but there is only so much the Council can control.

“Did the authority take into consideration whether there are enough collectors in Malta? They are ultimately the most important stakeholders in this sector.  From our end we are doing everything, but WasteServ and other authorities must also take responsibility. We believe that Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) should take necessary actions of the cleaning of commercial and touristic areas, as these areas are also suffering.”

The representative also highlighted that there have been no more red ‘Sort it out’ stickers. “Where is the enforcement from WasteServ? I think they went to sleep.”

The representative also expressed that it is important for people to take the initiative and take responsibility of keeping the area clean and take out their garbage on the correct day. 

I will give further details once I am in office: PL Mayor Alfred Grima

“I feel that it is best to first conclude our discussion on the issue and then I will announce the plan in due course,” said Alfred Grima. When the newsroom contacted Grima for a comment on the waste issue, he explained that since he takes office as mayor from the first of July, he felt he should refrain from giving any comments on the topic.

He explained that currently he is working in a group discussing the correct means forward on the waste issue and working on finding correct solutions.  “We are discussing the best options available, we are discussing with stakeholders and soon hopefully with newly elected council members.” When asked for further detail regarding the group meetings, Grima said that further comments will be given once he has taken office. “I feel that it is best to first conclude our discussions on the issue and then I will announce it in due cause.”



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