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  1. General facts
  2. National legislative framework
  3. National policies on waste
  4. Instruments
  5. Data on waste management
  6. National legislation on waste (selected)
  7. Competent Authorities
  8. Bibliography

1. General facts

General facts
Surface area 316 Km²
Population (tousand inhabitans) 397
Population density 1 263 inhabitants/Km²
Average number of persons per private

Passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants** 508
GDP per capita in Purchasing Power
Standards(PPS) EU25=100

GDP per capita (Constant prices) EUR 7 751 (at 1995 and exchange rates)
Land use*** 34% agriculture land
4% forests and other wooded land
-% buildt-up and related land
-% wet open land
-% dry open land
-% Water
Household characteristics by
urbanisation degree, distribution of
households % ****
Gross value added (GVA) -
At current basic prices and current
exchange rates (% of all branches).
20% Industry, including energy
5% Construction
28% Trade, transport and communication services
20% Buisness activities and financial services
26% Other services
2% Agriculture, hunting and fishing

Source: Eurostat, 2004 except from *2003; **EUROSTAT/DGTREN, 2002; ***2000; ****1999

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2. National legislative framework

National acts/laws on waste management
Reference Main features
Environment Protection Act of 1991 (Act V of 1991), and related secondary legislation: This Act is primarily concerned with environmental quality and its protection, and empowers the Minister for the Environment to make regulations concerning the use and possession of toxic substances and substances that may be harmful to the environment. It also permits the Minister to indicate locations and methods for disposing of certain substances on land.
Deposit of Wastes and Rubble (Fees) Regulations – Legal Notice 128 of 1997: These regulations require inter alia that rubble, waste and hazardous waste must be deposited in a licensed waste deposit site, and that such sites and carriers of waste must be licensed. They also introduced a fee for depositing waste in both public and private waste deposit sites.
Litter Act of 1968 (Act VIII of 1968): This Act is primarily concerned with littering and the control of disposal of domestic waste. It places responsibility for waste collection on the Ministry responsible for Health and regulates the collection of waste from urban areas. It also makes the dumping of waste in public areas an offence.
The Development Planning Act of 1992 (Act I of 1992): This Act is mainly concerned with land use and development. It defines the depositing of waste on land as ‘development’ and states that such ‘developments’ require planning consent. The development and design of waste management facilities are also controlled by this Act.

2.1 Summary of the legislation relevant to waste management

The main public institutions / agencies concerned with waste management are:

National waste management plans
Period of implementation Main features
2001 - 2005 National Waste Management Strategy sets out a vision for the future, and the actions that need to be taken to achieve it. Quantitative targets:
  • Excavation, construction and demolition wastes
    • 30% reduction in current arisings by 2005
    • Recovery of 60% of rock /stone by 2005
    • Recovery of 50% of mixed inert wastes by 2005
  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
    • Limiting generation to no more than 300kg/capita/annum by 2010
  • Biodegradable waste going to landfill (calculated against the 1995 baseline of 99,500 tonnes)
    • Reduction to 75% by 2010
    • Reduction to 50% by 2013
    • Reduction to 35% by 2020
  • Packaging wastes
    • Recovery of at least 50% by 2005
    • Recycling of at least 25% by 2005
  • Batteries and accumulators
    • Ending of importation and sale of batteries containing more than permitted European limits of Hg, Cd, Pb by 2005
    • Separate collection of 50% by 2005
  • PCB / PCT wastes
    • Export for treatment / destruction of existing materials by 2004
  • End-of-life vehicles
    • Recovery or reuse of at least 70% by 2006
    • Recovery or reuse of at least 85% by 2015
All percentages are by weight. “Recovery” means to obtain value from wastes through recycling, composting, other forms of material recovery, and energy recovery. In order to achieve the targets set out in the waste management plan, Malta intends to develop and implement a series of interrelated measures/actions (See section 3).

A Solid Waste Management Strategy for the Maltese Islands was set in motion in October 2001. The overall goal of the strategy is to put in place an integrated approach to waste management, which amongst other things involves the reduction in the quantity of waste and an increase in recycling and composting. The objective of this strategy is that by 2005 the necessary legislative and physical infrastructure to manage waste will be developed. An important outcome of this strategy is that the Government has committed itself to close and rehabilitate the current landfills at Maghtab and Il-Qortin by the end of 2004. This strategy, known also as “Progett Skart” is being accompanied by an awareness and educational campaign so as to involve stakeholders.
Programmes aimed at promoting good practice within homes, industries, hotels, restaurants, schools, and other institutions are being implemented. The aim is to dispose of waste in a manner that is acceptable to the facility receiving it, thereby safeguarding human health and the environment. Progress in this regard is slow.
The initiation of separation at source from households has yielded a high percentage of recoverable material and has generated new interest within the business sector. Initiatives based on “producer responsibility” and the “polluter pays principle”, are presently being planned. A sufficiently large market for recycled products is yet to be developed to ensure the economic viability of collecting materials.

Transposition of Landfill and Incineration Directives

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3. National policies on waste

Main strategic directions with regard to wastes:

Policy and Legislative Measures
Action / Measure Target Date for Completion
Complete and adopt the National Waste Management Strategy. (On-going)
Prepare / complete detailed Strategy implementation plans.
End 2001

Early 2002
Complete and enact the new Environmental Protection Act, and subsidiary implementing regulations, incorporating all European and national requirements, and sufficient monitoring, inspection and enforcement powers. (On-going) Mid 2002
Carry out a needs assessment for monitoring and enforcement. Specify and provide sufficient resources. Develop and implement integrated systems and procedures for monitoring, inspection and enforcement. Mid 2002
Establish national, legally binding technical standards / codes of practice relating to wastes management. End 2002
Establish national technical standards / codes of practice for segregation and temporary storage of specific types of waste. End 2002
Prepare, introduce and enforce technical standards on the landfilling / final disposal of wastes. End 2003
Close down all existing non-compliant incinerators. End 2003
Carry out regular inspection of all licensed facilities for the treatment / combustion of wastes. From 2003
Retain / extend legal restrictions on the sale of certain non-returnable packaging products. End 2002
Give priority in land use planning policy to facilities for the recovery / recycling of wastes. (On-going) End 2001
Establish (by agreement with industry and / or through legislation) ‘producer responsibility’ / compliance schemes for recovery (‘take-back’) and recycling / treatment of certain types of product. End 2002
Institutional and Organisational Measures
Action / Measure Target Date for Completion
Set up an Inter-Ministerial Steering Group, Chaired by the Ministry for the Environment, to supervise / co-ordinate / monitor strategy implementation. July 2001
Establish an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) as an autonomous regulatory agency. End 2002
Establish a Waste Management Inspectorate within the EPA with full inspection and enforcement powers. End 2002
Establish an Environmental Services Agency (ESA) as an autonomous implementing agency responsible for organising / supervising the provision of public waste management facilities and services. End 2002
Set up a national (state controlled) system for the collection, interim storage, pre-treatment, export and/or final disposal of hazardous wastes. 2004
Reorganise Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) collection service contracts into a small number of regions. 2004
Carry out a human resource and training needs assessment for public sector WM functions. End 2001
Specify and provide sufficient resources for public sector WM functions. End 2002
Economic / Financial Measures
Action / Measure Target Date for Completion
Progressively introduce / increase charges for the use of publicly owned / operated waste management facilities / services to levels which reflect the Long Run Marginal Cost (LRMC) of their provision. End 2004
Increase (if necessary) the prices charged for landfilling certain types of waste to levels significantly above the LRMC of facility provision. To be kept under review
Introduce a system of cost recovery for MSW management services. End 2006
Restrict / deter the use of landfill for excavation, construction and demolition wastes through a system of pre-paid vouchers for their disposal attached to the granting of planning / development permits. From 2003
Restrict / deter the use of landfill e.g. through limits on the quantities of specific types of waste which may be landfilled and / or differential landfill pricing. From 2003
Introduce deposit refund systems for selected potentially hazardous and / or recyclable products. End 2002
Give preference to recycled / recyclable products and materials in public sector procurement policies. From 2002
Provide financial incentives for locally manufactured recycled products / recycling processes. From 2002
Reduce or remove any unnecessary economic or other barriers to the export of recycled products / recyclable materials. End 2001
Technical / Operational Measures
Action / Measure Target Date for Completion
Set up a ‘Recycled Building Materials Working Party’. End 2001
Establish facilities for the interim storage, processing and recovery of excavation and other recyclable excavation, construction and demolition wastes. Mid 2003
Establish convenient ‘bring centres’ / drop-off points for recyclable materials. 2004
Introduce source segregation and separate collection of recyclable (including biodegradable) materials from MSW based on Eurobins and / or plastic sacks. 2004
Reduce / optimise MSW collection frequencies to reflect local conditions and collection methods. 2004
Revise MSW collection contract conditions / performance specifications. Mid 2002
Pre-qualify bidders for MSW collection contracts against stringent technical and financial criteria. Mid 2002
Strengthen supervision and control of MSW collection service providers. Mid 2002
Transfer / transport in sealed containers all non-inert wastes from Gozo to Malta for recovery / treatment / final disposal. From 2004
Introduce dedicated, purpose-designed vehicles for collection / transport of healthcare wastes. 2003
Upgrade the Sant Antnin composting plant. End 2003
Establish new waste treatment / processing facilities in Malta (1st phase)
Thermal treatment / energy recovery plant for non-recyclable, non-hazardous combustible wastes and process residues, adopting for this purpose the most environmentally friendly but proven technologies then available.
End 2003

End 2013
Establish a new landfill facility in Malta for the disposal of pre-treated non-inert, non-hazardous wastes in accordance with European standards / best practices. End 2003
Establish a new secure landfill facility in Malta for the disposal of certain hazardous wastes. End 2003
Establish new landfill facilities in Malta and Gozo for the disposal of excavation, construction, demolition and other inert wastes. Mid 2003
Prepare / implement plans for the stabilisation, progressive restoration, and eventual closure, after-care and return to beneficial use of existing waste dump sites. End 2004
Prepare / implement plans for the remediation, restoration and return to beneficial use of former waste dump sites. End 2003
Other Measures
Action / Measure Target Date for Completion
Develop and implement a programme for on-going communications with all stakeholders over the life of the National WM Strategy. On-going
Make the need for effective enforcement a central theme of stakeholder communications. On-going
Integrate, and give greater prominence to, WM issues in educational curricula and programmes. On-going
Mobilise / co-ordinate NGO support for stakeholder communications and awareness raising. On-going
Establish a national system and related procedures for classifying, collecting, processing, analysing and disseminating data and information on the sources, nature, quantities and fate of wastes, and WM facilities. End 2002
Establish a national system and related procedures for monitoring and reporting of WM activities and performance in a standardised format. End 2002

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4. Instruments

Malta is still in the process of establishing the framework from which the tools and instruments can be implemented so it is too early to comment on these yet. In future Malta intend to implement the following instruments:

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5. Data on waste management

Waste generation and treatment in 1000 tonnes
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Total waste generation - - - - - - - 1514 2101
Municipal waste generated - - - 145 179 188 215 187 218
Municipal waste landfilled 115 120 125 130 137 131 185 187 218
Biodegradable municipal waste generated - - - - - - - - -
Biodegradable waste landfilled - - - - - - - - -
Used tyres generated - - - - - - - - -

Source: Eurostat Structural Indicators

Waste generation and treatment in kg per capita
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Total waste generation - - - - - - - 3837 5288
Municipal waste generated 338 350 361 385 441 471 494 516 543
Municipal waste landfilled 311 323 334 345 336 348 375 459 457
Biodegradable municipal waste generated - - - - - - - - -
Biodegradable waste landfilled - - - - - - - - -
Used tyres generated - - - - - - - - -

Source: Eurostat Structural Indicators

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6. National legislation on waste (selected)

National regulations Exists or not (Y/N) Reference (if available)
Landfill Y
Incineration Y
BMW (Bio-degradable municipal waste) ?
Packaging Y Covered in the Structure Plan
End-of Life Vehicles / Tyres Y Covered in the Structure Plan
Waste of electrical and electronic equipment Y Covered in the Structure Plan
Batteries Y Covered in the Structure Plan

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7. Competent authorities

This hyperlink will direct you to Competent Authorities on eionet wastebase

8. Bibliography

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