“Focus mainly on enforcement"
GreenPak tells Government
Littering in Malta is not only unrelentless but also on the increase, with social media and news portals having a heyday. People should be putting their glass bottles, plastics, cardboard boxes and other recyclable material inside the appropriate iBiNs. However, many careless individuals are resorting to leaving their litter around the containers as many photos being published show. Moreover, iBiNs areas that are cleaned in the morning are being turned once again into a garbage heap by the afternoon.
"The iBiNs send fill levels notice to GreenPak and collections are scheduled according to these readings. “It is frustrating that while iBiNs are reporting available void, some individuals cannot be bothered to place the materials inside the bin. Flattening carton boxes and crushing plastic bottles is the proper way to deposit materials inside the iBiNs. Dumping of recyclable waste next to the bins is a littering offence,” said GreenPak’s CEO, Ing. Mario Schembri.
“We are striving to empty the iBiNs more often in the many localities served by GreenPak. Nevertheless, the biggest problem is the total disregard by the authorities to enforce fines on those that ignore the law,” he said.
Government's response has been to send out the 'troops' and clean up the mess as has happened in St. Paul's Bay. This is having an adverse result as many now believe that leaving litter in the streets is helping Government make 'nice statements' about how many tonnes of waste are been collected to keep Malta clean.
Some months back, GreenPak had suggested that Government would do far better if it invests taxpayers’ money in enforcement, such as "Rubbish Police". This proposal had been discussed with the Ministry for the Environment (MSDEC) and the authorised recycling schemes so that stakeholders work together to eradicate this national disease.
On a positive note, over recent months, the iBins App: ibins.greenpak.org.mt has led to a significant upturn in iBiN usage which on average has increased by 40%. This web app has been designed specifically as a helpful tool for responsible people not to go to an iBiN site that is already full, but to nearest available iBiNs site that the app will point out.
Ing. Schembri said: “From our side, we increased the frequency for emptying the bins and have also started emptying of iBiNs at night, so as to avoid traffic congestions. But enforcement is still an unrelenting major problem. Although GreenPak has been sending images and footage of abusive actions to both ERA and LESA to take action against the abusers, no decrease in littering has been noticed - if anything, littering is on the increase at an alarming rate.”
GreenPak is prepared to install CCTVs at all iBiN sites however, the lack of enforcement by the authorities on footage that has been forwarded to them for a number of months, is making GreenPak doubt the wisdom of such an investment.
“Law enforcement is a basic and fundamental Government function. The lack of enforcement is severely undermining our investment and our work. GreenPak made a huge investment in the iBiN project and now it is being laid to waste by government’s apparent intransigence. Additionally, the idea that Government spends money in cleaning up the mess left behind by irresponsible individuals is sending the wrong message. Money should be spent on effective, strong and decisive enforcement of the littering regulations,” said Ing Schembri.
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