The Malta Independent 5 December 2020, Saturday

250 fines for waste collection infractions issued by ERA over last 10 months

Giulia Magri Thursday, 12 November 2020, 08:49 Last update: about 22 days ago

Over the last 10 months, €37,500 worth of fines were issued by the Environment & Resources Authority (ERA) in relation to waste collection infractions, The Malta Independent has been informed.

Fines are issued for three reasons: taking out the wrong garbage or recycling bag on the wrong day; taking a garbage or recycling bag out long before the collection time is due, and leaving waste bags and boxes outside of skips in bring-in sites.

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An ERA spokesperson informed this newsroom that the Authority has conducted regular inspections in various localities on a daily basis. Over the past ten months (January- October), 250 fines of €150 were issued by the ERA.

Recently, Environment, Climate Change and Planning Minister Aaron Farrugia said that there are only 20 enforcement officers currently employed by the ERA, who work on the management and enforcement of waste. Whilst he agreed that 20 officers are not enough for enforcement, he said that more will be employed. Such officers deal with the aforementioned infractions.

Back in June, the Environment Ministry, along with ERA and Waste Serve, had introduced harsher penalties for those people caught dumping illegally. A €1,000 penalty will be issued for the disposal of less than one cubic meter of limestone or construction waste. There is a penalty of €3,000 for an amount in excess of one cubic meter of discarded limestone material and the fine will continue to increase according to the quantity of discarded material, up to a maximum of €30,000.

This newsroom also asked the ERA for an update regarding the harsher penalties, which may be imposed by a court of law in cases where the ERA takes criminal action against an offender. “This course of action is one of the enforcement powers that the ERA has, together with Stop & Compliance Orders that may be issued with daily penalties and administrative penalties,” explained the spokesperson.

During the past year, the ERA has issued 13 orders with daily penalties and another 13 administrative penalties. He explained that such orders were issued in relation to offences where waste was mismanaged in public open spaces or in relation to the mismanagement of waste from coastal projects that spilled into the sea. “No legal prosecutions have been undertaken before the law courts in 2020 to date related to these offences,” he concluded.

 

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