The Malta Independent 2 August 2021, Monday

Malta’s negative recycling trend has been reversed, Environment Minister says

Friday, 15 January 2021, 15:31 Last update: about 8 months ago

Although it may seem Malta had fallen behind in the recycling sector in the past, any negative trends have already been addressed and reversed, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said on Friday.

Farrugia’s statement comes days after Eurostat reported how Malta ranked the lowest out of all 27 EU member states with regards to the recycling of plastic packaging waste. Just 19.2% (based on 2017 data) of plastic packaging waste was being recycled by Malta, the statistics showed.

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Farrugia was speaking during a visit to the ECOHIVE complex together with WasteServ CEO Richard Bilocca.

Following the investment made in July last year with the installation of a new rudimentary sorting line in Sant’Antnin, WasteServ will be now investing around €2 million to open an automated sorting line, within an existing building, at the ECOHIVE Complex in Naxxar.

The Minister explained that around 41,000 tons of material will be processed using specially designed machinery that will automatically collect and sort the different types of metal, cardboard, and plastic. This will then be baled so that it can be sold to be transformed into other products.

Accordingly, WasteServ has just issued a call for tenders for the design and supply of this equipment - https://www.wsm.com.mt/en/tenders. This project will be part-financed by the European Union Cohesion Fund and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“With this investment, we continue building on the current momentum to improve our performance. This goes hand in hand with the goals of the new waste management strategy which should lead us to a record amount of recycling to be processed in the new recycling plant that will be commissioned in the next four years within the ECOHIVE Complex,” Farrugia said.

Richard Bilocca explained how this investment will ensure an efficient separation process that will ultimately result in recyclable waste of the highest quality, and thus increase the potential to re-enter the supply chain.

Farrugia said that this investment is another proof that this Government is committed to improving the country's environmental performance. He said that this investment should also improve the waste management system by increasing recycling rates.

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