Mandatory Waste Separation
Waste separation is mandatory in Malta and Gozo as from 14 April 2023. Everyone has to properly separate their waste and dispose of it in the right bins, including business, governmental and non-governmental entities as well as private homes.
By separating your waste, you are reducing the need for new landfills, increasing recycling of materials and helping to generate renewable energy, for a greener, cleaner environment and a better quality of life in Malta and Gozo.
Separate waste – your contribution for a sustainable future!
How to separate your waste
- Aluminium trays & foil (clean)
- Beverage cans
- Carton food boxes (clean)
- Cooking oil bottles
- Cosmetic containers (clean)
- Detergent bottles (empty container)
- Detergent boxes
- Food cans
- Jar lids
- Liquid soap container (empty)
- Plastic bottles
- Margarine tubs (clean)
- Metal caps
- Milk and Juice cartons
- Paper bags (clean)
- Plastic bags (clean)
- Plastic caps
- Plastic containers
- Plastic food packets
- Plastic bottles
- Shampoo bottles (empty)
- Shower gel bottles (empty)
- Spray cans (empty)
- Take-away boxes (clean)
- Toilet paper rolls
- Toiletries (clean containers)
- Yoghurt containers (clean)
- Cooked food
- Cooked or raw meat
- Dairy products
- Egg and egg shells
- Expired food (without packaging)
- Fruit & vegetable peels
- Raw food
- Rotten fruit & vegetables
- Soiled newspapers
- Soiled napkins
- Tea bags
- Tea leaves
- Spreads (e.g. honey and butter)
- Nut shells
- Seafood shells
- Fish and meat bones
- Fruit stones
- Adhesive tape
- Soiled aluminium foil
- Baking paper
- Broken ceramics/pyrex
- Dirty food wrappers
- Cellophane tape
- Dirty-take away boxes
- Foil coated packets
- Plant pots
- Used sponges
- Sanitary items
- Hair (human & animal)
- Small broken mirrors
- Toothpaste tubes
- Used cleaning materials
- Used rubber gloves
- Used floor cloths
- Wax paper
- Wet wipes
- Cigarette butts & ashes
- Snack packets
- Ice lolly sticks and wooden skewers
- Sanitary Items
- Animal waste and pet litter
- Glass bottles
- Glass jars
Dispose of your glass properly. For kerbside collection, it is important to take out your glass in a reusable container. Residents can also make use of one of WasteServ’s Civic Amenity sites or Roadshow Trucks, or one of the various Bring-In Sites operated by GreenPak and GreenMT.
The bulky waste collection service offered by Local Councils is free of charge to all households. This includes items that are too big for normal household waste collection. To get rid of your bulky waste, you can either contact your own Local Council for a collection appointment, or else take it to one of WasteServ’s Civic Amenity Sites.
Disposal of hazardous waste must be carried out in an environmentally safe way. It must be taken to one of the Civic Amenity Sites. Hazardous waste includes waste such as:
- Chemicals (including empty chemical containers)
- Paint (including empty paint containers)
- Lubricating oils
- Spent light bulbs*
- Neon tubes*
* Can also be disposed of at the WasteServ Roadshow truck (including household batteries).
You can drop off your old, used, unwanted, expired medicine at an authorised pharmacy. Here, you can dispose of loose or packaged tablets and capsules, bottled medicines, inhalers and medicinal cream tubes.
Never take any biohazardous items such as syringes and EpiPen devices to a pharmacy. These must be disposed of in special sharps disposal containers and taken to one of WasteServ’s Civic Amenity sites.
Commercial Waste Disposal
WasteServ provides commercial entities with the necessary services to dispose of their waste safely. This is offered against payment and upon request.
Different waste disposal procedures need to be followed by commercial entities depending on the type of waste and the quantities involved. For this reason, you are kindly requested to complete the online waste inquiry form found on WasteServ’s website or send an email to WasteServ’s Waste Acceptance Office on email@example.com or call WasteServ’s freephone (8007 2200).
WasteServ’s Reuse Centres
Reuse Centres offer used and ‘pre-loved’ items that still hold value and can be given another ‘life’. These are located within WasteServ’s Civic Amenity Sites of Luqa, Ħal Far, Mrieħel and Tal-Kus in Xewkija, Gozo. These are open Monday to Sunday, including public holidays, between 07:30 and 17:30 (excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).
Access to the Reuse Centres is possible on foot. There are passageways having a separate entrance from that of the Civic Amenity Site to make the Reuse Centres safe and accessible to prams, strollers and people with mobility issues, including wheelchairs.
You can also donate unwanted items that are still in good condition by taking them at a Reuse Centre.
Items that you can acquire or donate at WasteServ’s Reuse Centres include:
- Loose Furniture
- Musical Instruments
- Home décor accessories
- Pet supplies
Items such as the following are not accepted:
- Car tyres
- Safety equipment
- Baby equipment, including child car seats and prams
- Gas cylinders
- Medical equipment
- Waste electrical and electronic equipment and parts
- Paints, chemicals, and other hazardous waste
WasteServ’s Roadshow Trucks
WasteServ’s Roadshow Trucks visit all localities at least once a month to make it easier for you to dispose of your waste with care and attention, protecting you and the environment in the process.
These are the items collected by these trucks:
- Cooking oil
- Light bulbs & neon tubes
- Glass jars & bottles
- Paper & cardboard
- Household batteries
- Bags & shoes
- Pots & pans
- Small electronic devices
- Paints & solvents
- Aerosol sprays
This initiative also helps to reduce the contamination of recyclable waste, since the Roadshow Trucks have separate compartments for each of the waste streams. The exact dates and locations of the truck visits can be confirmed through your Local Council or by visiting WasteServ’s website.
WasteServ’s Civic Amenity Sites
WasteServ’s Civic Amenity sites are facilities where the public can bring and discard various types of bulky household waste, domestic hazardous waste as well as recyclable materials. These sites can only accept household waste.
Entry to a Civic Amenity Site is only permitted with a vehicle. Different levels of access are applied depending on the category of your vehicle.
For more information on the items that can be disposed at these sites, kindly visit WasteServ’s website.
Civic Amenity Sites are open from Monday to Sunday, including public holidays, between 07:30 and 17:30 (excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).
National Waste Collection Schedule
A new national waste collection schedule has been drawn up to streamline door-to-door waste collection around Malta and Gozo in line with what was established in the National Plan on Waste Management.
The schedule will be as follows:
Monday: Organic waste (white bag)
Tuesday: Mixed waste (black bag)
Wednesday: Organic waste only (white bag)
Thursday: Recycled waste (Grey or green bag)
Friday: Organic waste (white bag)
Saturday: Mixed waste (black bag)
The collection of glass bottles will be carried out on every first and third Friday of the month.
More information on the new schedule will be disseminated to residents from their respective councils.
This Schedule, will not have any effect on those commercial entities who have alternative arrangements for their collection of Waste.
Between April and October 2023, the authorities are conducting an educational campaign to familiarise the public with the new mandatory waste separation regulations. During this period, persons (even those operating within the context of a commercial activity) caught disposing of waste inappropriately will receive a warning. After the lapse of these six months, as of 14 October 2023, businesses caught disposing of waste inadequately will be fined €75, while households will be fined €25. These fines will double to €150 and €50 respectively if the individual is caught repeatedly disposing of waste inappropriately.
|Fines for not separating waste|
|1st offence||2nd offence||3rd offence|
ERA officials and officials from other entities will be carrying out continuous inspections in all localities, for both domestic and commercial activities, to ensure that the waste that is being deposited for door-to-door collection is separated in line with the regulations, in the appropriate bags taken out on the correct days.
Tips to reduce waste generation (bonus points of saving money as well):
- Buy products without plastic packaging
- Purchase durable, longer-lasting goods
- Buy less stuff
- Get a lunch box and reusable drink container
- Use baskets and fabric shopping bags
- Exchange, swap, borrow, and repair items
You can visit wastecollection.mt where you can find the schedule and the time for collection.
Proper waste separation also helps to ensure that materials are treated appropriately. When non-recyclable or contaminated materials are mixed in with recyclables or organic waste, it can lead to contamination of the entire stream, making it more difficult and expensive to recycle or compost those materials.
Proper waste disposal is everyone’s business since the natural environment is for all to enjoy.
You may take out the rubbish bags up to 4 hours prior to the collection time of your respective locality. If you want to know the collection time for your locality, you may visit wastecollection.mt.
Apart from methane, other pollutant gases can also be emitted – such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). These pollutants can have negative effects on local air quality, potentially leading to respiratory issues and other health concerns for nearby communities.
These emitted gases can also contribute to unpleasant odours in the surrounding area which can be a nuisance to nearby residents, impacting their quality of life.
You are required to separate:
- Organic waste (white bag) refers to organic waste containing food and kitchen waste, flowers and leaves. Twigs are not to be disposed in this bag.
- Recyclable waste (grey/green waste) refers to co-mingled paper, plastic, and metal.
- Glass refers to glass jars and bottles.
Mixed waste (black bag) refers to waste that cannot be recycled.
You can visit wastecollection.mt or wsm.com.mt for a detailed list of what goes in each bag.
You may also wish to download WasteServ’s Waste Separation Guide. You can find links to this on wastecollection.mt or wsm.com.mt.
For those with no access to the website, they can call WSM Customer Care on 8007 2200.
We suggest that after you rinse the item (if it needs to be rinsed), you put the plastic cap back on before throwing the item.
This does not apply to metal lids. These are to be removed from glass jars and placed in the recycling bag.
If there are no bins for the separate collection of waste, you may make use of any other bin that is available. Also, it is possible to separate such waste at home in line with waste separation guidelines.
ERA, LESA and the Police Department.
Hotspot areas will be monitored as required by the ERA. Waste bags may be opened as part of the monitoring process.
Preferably, organic waste is to be disposed of in a biodegradable waste bag.
Follow the procedure on the fine itself.
You may submit a complaint on ERIS via: https://ep-eris.eraportal.org.mt/User/LoginEID using the E-ID as a log in.
You may also wish to refer your complaint to your Local Council and your respective Region for further assistance on the matter.
With regards to the placing of waste bags in front of the house, this needs to be referred to the Police Department in view of public nuisance.
Fines will be issued to individuals not separating the waste. However, these individuals need to be caught red-handed unless there is enough supporting evidence that such waste belongs to the contraveners.
Such an issue should be discussed with the landowner or the administrator of the block in order to find a plausible solution. Waste bags should be deposited in an authorised space/area as deemed suitable.
Given the nature of such entities, the same fines that applies to households will apply to these entities. Thus, if caught not separating the waste, these entities will be fined €25 for second offence and €50 for third offence.
Any entity caught not abiding by the waste schedule will be fined €150.