1,015,000 tonnes of waste treated in 2011
In 2011, the total amount of waste treated in Malta amounted to 1,015 thousand tonnes, down by 25.8% when compared to 2010. By waste stream, 69.3% consisted of non-hazardous mineral wastes. The relative share of this waste stream declined from 90.6% in 2004, with the average for the period 2004-2011 at 86.2%. Municipal waste made up 23.2% of all waste managed.
The amount of waste managed in public landfills has decreased by an average 1.7% per year during the period under review. The higher waste amounts registered between 2007 and 2009 occurred due to a decreased intake of waste by the Sant'Antnin waste treatment plant, which was undergoing upgrading works. By 2010 the amounts managed at the landfill went back to 2006 levels. On average, from 2004 to 2011 municipal waste constituted 85.2% of the total amount of waste managed in landfills. On average, in 2010 and 2011 7.9% of the total amount of waste which entered the landfill site was diverted from landfilling to other waste treatment operations (see methodological notes).
Throughout the time series, 86.8% of all non-hazardous mineral waste was treated in quarry sites. The amounts of waste managed in quarries decreased, on average, by 11.5% per year. In 2004 and 2005 the share of recycling in quarry sites made up 0.8% of the total amount of waste treated in these sites. By 2011 the corresponding figure rose to 23.3%. Non-hazardous mineral waste, which is generated by large scale excavations and dredging works, is disposed at sea. Yearly fluctuations in the disposal of this waste mainly occur since this is generated from one-off projects.
In 2011, 59.8 thousand tonnes were treated at the Sant Antnin plant, up considerably over 2010. The decrease in the period 2007 to 2010 is noteworthy since it indicates the ongoing upgrading works at the plant. By 2009 the Materials Recovery Facility was commissioned, followed by the Mechanical Treatment Plant in 2010. Due to these developments, the input of waste continuously increased from 2009 onwards.
By 2011, the recorded amounts reached their highest level when compared to the rest of the time series. The waste input at the Marsa Thermal Treatment Plant averaged 6,645 tonnes per year between 2008 and 2011. During this period 91.0 per cent of the total amount of incinerated waste consisted of animal tissue waste and by-products of animal rearing. The Marsa Plant is the only facility in Malta licensed to provide final treatment for hazardous waste. During the period 2008-2011, 5.8% of the total amount of waste treated by this facility was classified as hazardous. Waste collected from bring-in sites increased from year to year except in 2009, reaching a peak in 2011 when almost 5,000 tonnes were collected. The separate collection of paper, metal and plastic was enhanced from 2008 onwards when the grey bag collection scheme was introduced. By 2010, the amounts collected by this scheme had more than doubled, stabilising at around 9,700 tonnes. Waste collected from Civic Amenity Sites continuously increased since 2006, and by 2011 almost 22,000 tonnes were collected.