The Tourism Ministry's Cleansing and Maintenance division is taking over the sweeping and washing of five localities as part of a pilot project that will initially last six months.

The localities taking part in the project are Valletta, Birżebbuġa, Birkirkara, Marsaxlokk and Żurrieq.

Division director general Ramon Deguara said the decision follows some 10,000 complaints on cleanliness this year.

Generally, councils farm out street sweeping and washing duties to private contractors, but some have done a sub-standard job, he said.

“We do not want to take work from contractors but the government is willing to be proactive when the need arises.” 

Speaking during the signing of the agreement between the division and the five councils, local government parliamentary secretary Alison Zerafa Civelli said that maintaining cleanliness is an important role of councils.

“Education is the first step in maintaining cleanliness but this is not enough,” she said. 

Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo said cleanliness must be a priority not only for residents' quality of life but also in terms of the country as a touristic destination.

 

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