A law making waste separation mandatory has come into effect as of Friday, meaning that organic and recyclable material must be disposed of in the correct bags.  

The new law was published in a February 14 legal notice and is effective from today, however, administrative fines will only be meted out to contraveners as of October. The six-month grace period will come with an education campaign to inform citizens of their obligations, the Environmental Resource Authority (ERA) said in a statement.  

“Throughout this period, persons caught disposing of waste inappropriately will receive a warning,” an ERA statement said.  

From October, any household caught disposing of the wrong garbage faces a €25 fine, while businesses will see a €75 imposed for the same offence. 

“You will no longer be allowed to dispose of organic waste in the black bag as this will now have to be put into the designated white bag. The same applies to recyclable waste such as plastic and paper and other materials which have to be separated and disposed of in the grey bag designated for recycling,” ERA said in February when the legal notice was announced.  

“Glass will no longer be allowed to be put in the black or grey bag but must instead be separated and taken out for municipal door-to-door collection”. 

ERA officials and other entities will be enforcing the law checking whether waste is separated according to regulations, they added.

At the beginning of the year, waste collection was standardised across Malta, with the responsibility of collecting municipal waste shifting from a local responsibility to a regional one

This saw the waste collection schedule becoming uniform in every locality, with the only variant being in collection times. 

“Currently, 90% of Malta’s municipal waste ends up in landfills,” ERA said. 

The entity hopes to drastically drop that figure down to 10% by 2035 in order to meet national waste management targets. 

What goes into each bag?

Mixed Recycables (Grey/Green Bag): Cardboard, paper, empty aerosol cans, caps and lids, plastic bags, metal cans, soap bottles, foil trays.

Organic Waste (White Bag): Cooked and raw food, bones, peels, bread and pasta, food soiled napkins, tea bags and ground coffee, peels. 

Mixed Waste (Black Bag): Ceramic, nappies, dirty take away boxes, broken glass and mirrors, snack packets.

What bag is collected when?

Monday: Organic Waste

Tuesday: Mixed Waste

Wednesday: Organic Waste

Thursday: Recyclable Waste

Friday: Organic Waste

Saturday: Mixed Waste

Glass is collected every first and third Friday of the month. 

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