Over 200 people have been fined by waste management authorities after being caught red-handed taking out the wrong rubbish bag on a specific day.

Asked for figures on those fined since the introduction of mandatory waste separation in November, an Environment Ministry spokesman said 203 people were caught breaking the new rules. Under the new rules, households must take out the different rubbish bags on specific days, with schedules varying depending on the different localities. 

One of the main problems with the new system is that some residents failed to adhere to this schedule and that it was difficult to punish those breaking the law since they had to be caught in the act to be fined.

Offenders are fined €150, which is not paid on the spot but weeks later under a mechanism whereby the offender is given a chance to challenge the decision.

The localities where fines were dished out included St Paul’s Bay, Qawra, Buġibba, Marsascala (including St Thomas Bay), Marsalforn, Xlendi, San Ġwann, Senglea, Paola, Luqa, Ħamrun, St Julian’s, Santa Luċija, Swieqi, Mellieħa, Mosta, Birżebbuġa and Marsa. Fines, he said, were issued for three reasons, namely taking out the incorrect bag for collection, depositing waste bags next to bring-in sites or skips and taking out bags early. 

The number of fines did not include those who were caught breaking the law on CCTV cameras.

In the majority of cases, contraventions issued were related to black bags, which are used for non-recyclable waste, being taken out on the wrong day, the spokesman said. 

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