The amount of wood being dumped in landfills has increased astronomically, official figures show.

A breakdown of the municipal waste being dumped at landfills shows that while less than 50 tonnes of wood was dumped in 2014, the figure soared to more than 14,000 tonnes the following year.

The figures, published by the National Statistics Office cover the five-year period between 2011 and 2015. In the first year under review no wood was reported to have been legally dumped whatsoever.

Industry sources said that while there had been a clampdown on the illegal dumping of wood around 2010, the prices for recycling were still prohibitive.

This was resulting in more people opting to take their unwanted wood to landfills.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the statistics office said municipal waste generation had amounted to 269,316 tonnes, an increase of five per cent over 2014, the highest increase registered since 2011. On a per capita basis, this amounted to 620 kilograms per citizen.

Recycling waste management firm distributed 500,000 grey bags to 30 local councils

Mixed municipal waste, covered by the black bag waste collection, made up 67.9 per cent (182,763 tonnes) of the total municipal waste generation in 2015, increasing by five per cent over the previous year.

The green/grey bag collection of mixed recyclables went up by 15.8 per cent, contributing 5.5 per cent (14,926 tonnes) to the total municipal waste generation.

During the year under review 92.8 per cent of the total amount of municipal waste treated was disposed at the Għallis landfill.

The bulk comprised mixed municipal waste (59 per cent) followed by rejects from the mechanical treatment of municipal waste (16.2 per cent).

Material recycling occupied a share of 6.9 per cent from the total municipal waste treatment.

At 57.6 per cent, paper and cardboard made up the bulk of the recycled amounts, followed by glass at 13.3 per cent.

In 2015, no municipal waste was composted since the output of compost from the Sant’ Antnin anaerobic digestion plant was landfilled at Għallis.

Meanwhile, recycling waste management firm Green MT has announced it had distributed 500,000 grey bags to local councils in the 30 towns and villages it collects waste from, in an effort to further encourage people to separate their waste.

In a statement, the company said it was committed to further educating the public about the benefits of waste separation and reducing the amount of non-recyclable waste generated by Maltese households.

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