The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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Municipal waste generated drops by 4.4% in 2021 – NSO

Tuesday, 6 December 2022, 11:10 Last update: about 3 months ago

Municipal waste generated during 2021 decreased by 4.4 per cent over the previous year to a total of 316,603 tonnes.

In 2021, the generation of municipal waste amounted to 316,603 tonnes, declining by 14,539 tonnes or 4.4 per cent over 2020. The main decreases in absolute terms were registered for bulky waste (11,539 tonnes), bio-waste from kitchens and canteens (3,303 tonnes), and mixed packaging (1,111 tonnes).

These decreases were partly offset by increases in other waste categories, of which the main one was for mixed municipal waste amounting to 1,916 tonnes. Data on municipal waste generation by waste collection source shows that decreases were registered across all categories except for civic amenity sites and the black bag collection from other sources, where waste amounts went up by 272 tonnes and 10,656 tonnes, respectively.

The largest decrease was in the category for other waste collection (10,943 tonnes), followed by the black bag collection from local councils (8,740 tonnes) and the organic waste collection (3,312 tonnes). Figures for the municipal waste generation in 2021 by both the national population and the net tourist equivalent population, reveal a decrease of 6.3 per cent to a level of 590 kilograms per capita.

 Municipal waste treatment

During 2021, the total amount of treated municipal waste increased by 14,712 tonnes or 4.7 per cent over that recorded in 2020, reaching 324,571 tonnes. The share that went to landfilling from the total treated municipal waste stood at 82.9 per cent, declining from 88.3 per cent registered in the previous year. In absolute terms, landfilled municipal waste decreased by 4,562 tonnes, with the main contributors to this decrease being mixed municipal waste (21,072 tonnes), bulky waste (10,194 tonnes) and wood waste (4,838 tonnes). In contrast, the landfilling of rejects that resulted from the mechanical treatment of waste increased by 33,716 tonnes.

When compared to 2020, municipal waste that was recycled increased by 6,572 tonnes or 18.2 per cent reaching a total of 42,627 tonnes. Paper and cardboard was the most recycled material at 51.3 per cent of the total recycled waste.

The most significant increases in recycling were achieved for metals (68.0 per cent), clothes/textiles (55.4 per cent) and plastic (52.5 per cent). On the other hand, the recycling of glass and bio-waste from kitchens and canteens decreased by 7.7 and 3.6 per cent respectively. In 2021, 12,742 tonnes of municipal waste underwent energy recovery treatment.

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