Businesses that dispose of their waste directly at WasteServ facilities are to see their waste disposal costs rise dramatically in the coming years. 

Gate fees for dumping mixed waste will double by January 2023 to €40 a tonne, and will continue rising by €20 a year until it will cost €120 per tonne in 2037.

Rates for dumping one tonne of tyres, textiles, wood, gypsum and electrical and electronic equipment will also go up next year and continue to rise on a yearly basis until 2037.

The increases, announced on Monday by WasteServ CEO Richard Bilocca, will only impact commercial operators that dump their waste directly at WasteServ facilities.

Door-to-door waste collection, bulky waste collection, dumping at Civic Amenity Sites and roadshow truck collection services will not be impacted by the change and will remain free of charge.

While the cost of dumping mixed waste is set to rise exponentially, the cost of recycled waste and organic waste will be fixed €0.50 and €20 per tonne respectively.

Fees are being increased to incentivise commercial sectors to separate their waste and to reverse Malta’s historic trend of landfilling the vast majority of its waste.

The new fee structure. Image: WasteServThe new fee structure. Image: WasteServ

Bilocca said the revised gate fee charge is not a way for WastServ to generate a “profit” but for companies to separate and dispose of their waste accordingly. 

 “The gate fees are the beginning of taking a step away from landfill, and for businesses and all of us to prioritise our environment,” Bilocca said. 

WasteServ CEO Richard Bilocca (right) during Monday's press conference. Photo: Giulia MagriWasteServ CEO Richard Bilocca (right) during Monday's press conference. Photo: Giulia Magri

Malta has the highest landfilling rate among the European Union countries and landfill has numerous negative impacts, such as problems with smells, visual impact and taking up agricultural land. 

While the country currently dumps 90 per cent of its waste into landfills, the EU has given Malta until 2035 to reduce that rate down to just 10 per cent.

What are the new fees and who will pay them?

The new gate fees will be affecting those operators and businesses that dispose of waste directly at WastServ’s facilities.

This includes the commercial sector, which Bilocca said is responsible for around 40 per cent of the waste which is not separated. 

The new gate fees also include new fees for different waste, including, wood, flat glass, textiles, mattresses, tyres, gypsum, expanded polystyrene and Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). 

For example, throwing away a tonne of tyres will cost a business €30 in 2023, €40 in 2025, and a jump to €95 in 2037.

When it comes to WEEE waste, it will cost €30 per tonne next year, but the fee will increase to €470 in 2037.

Gypsum will cost €30 a tonne to dispose of next year, rising to €50 in 2024, €135 by 2028 and €300 a tonne by 2037.

“Operators who start separating their waste will start saving money when making use of the WastServ facilities,” Bilocca said. 

He emphasized that the new fees will not impact door-to-door collections or bulky refuse. He said Wastserv saw an increase of 30 per cent in waste recycling last year.

Bilocca said as more waste is separated, more green energy can be generated. He said that currently, five per cent of the electricity generated comes through organic waste. 

WastServ will soon be inaugurating a new state-of-the-art facility in Ħal Far to process WEEE, tyres, wood, flat glass, and other waste, Bilocca said.

What about illegal dumping?

Speaking during the press conference, Environment Minister Miram Dalli pushed back against suggestions that the new, increased fee structure would lead to a spike in illegal countryside dumping.

“Even with the low gate fees we have today, illegal dumping is happening,” she said. “Our decisions cannot work in isolation. We will see how we can strengthen enforcement to penalise illegal dumping.”

Dalli said the new fees were “a step in the right direction” that would help solve the decades-long landfill problem Malta has had by pushing operators to reduce their waste and separate it appropriately.

The next step forward will be introducing mandatory separation, she said.

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