Record 18,000 tonnes of recyclable material processed by Wasteserv

2021 looks to be a pivotal year for WasteServ as a record-breaking number of recyclable material was already processed within its facilities.

Around 18,000 tonnes of paper, plastic, metal and glass were received and processed.

This figure exceeds WasteServ’s best years, including the years when the plant that caught fire in 2017 was fully operational.

During recent months, WasteServ has made some significant breakthroughs in its operations. The operation of a new rudimentary sorting line in Sant’ Antnin was the first in a series of steps taken following the fire. Here, every day around 25 tonnes of recyclables get sorted by dedicated employees who sort through the different materials so that they can then be baled and sent for export. This line has recently also been upgraded with an automated ferrous sorting making it more efficient.

This process will soon be complemented by another investment of around €2 million in a fully automated sorting line at WasteServ’s facilities in Naxxar. With this investment, around 41,000 tonnes of material are expected to be processed per year using specially designed machinery that will automatically collect and sort the recyclables into the different streams. In the meantime, another sorting line dedicated to ferrous metal started operation earlier this year. Approximately 17 tonnes of metal that get tossed in the black bag are recovered every day using a magnetic separator which then transfer the material onto a conveyor belt to be manually sorted from remaining debris.

Around 41,000 tonnes of material are expected to be processed per year using specially designed machinery.

Parallel to this, there is the ongoing work to implement the ECOHIVE project that will consist of four integrated waste management plants that will provide a holistic waste management solution by turning all the country’s waste into valuable resources. This unprecedented investment in waste management sector will put Malta amongst the top performers at European level.

These investments were motivated by the need to turn over a new leaf and contribute in a concrete manner to the improvement of Malta’s recycling performance. They were also motivated by the need to lead the way to a circular economy. This is also in line with the Long-term Waste Management Plan published earlier that aims at maximising the resource value in waste while advocating for a reformed waste collection system that will increase economies of scale and harmonise collection practices.

By revitalising operations through these strategic decisions, it once again became possible to extract high level quality recyclable materials. The quality has improved so much that it has translated into new sales opportunities for recyclables. By selling this material, the planet is saving on natural resources as these are turned into products again.

This unprecedented investment in waste management sector will put Malta amongst the top performers at European level.

These breakthroughs were made possible by establishing and maintaining a team of highly dedicated workers from engineers and managers down to the operatives. These are the employees that are making a difference in Malta’s recycling performance. While sorting and processing technologies have come a long way, they still cannot replace the decision-making capabilities of human beings. Thus, these employees play a crucial role, and the general public’s cooperation is key to continue building on this success. 

To contribute to an efficient process and keep these recycling employees safe and prevent accidents, the public has an important role to play. The occurrence of flares, syringes, nappies, sharp objects, and dead and rotting animals in the recycling bag is, unfortunately, not uncommon.

Only plastic, metal, paper, and cardboard should be placed in the recycling bag. It is also important to rinse the items before placing them in the bag. Items that are not properly cleaned or are soiled, such as take away boxes with oil residue, should not be placed in the recycling bag as this would compromise the quality of the materials.

By separating your waste correctly, you would be supporting WasteServ employees reduce the risk of hazards, and help optimising the recycling operation.

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