Are people only interested in cleanliness from their front door inward?

Despite the various facilities where one can place discarded bulk waste, many people are still illegally dumping bulky waste in out-of-the-way roads and localities such as at Mtaħleb and Baħrija where they will not be detected. ‘Popolin’ analysed this problem that despite the greater awareness created through campaigns of the environmental hazards and the expenses involved in cleansing, still continue to act irresponsibly and dump stuff.

‘Popolin’ spoke with Ramon Deguara, the Director General of the Cleaning and Maintenance Division who explained that last year his Division collected 15,000 ton of illegally dumped waste. He maintained that fines for this illegality are harsh and may reach up to €10,000 and more. Asked why people continue to dump rubbish he said that some people are not informed because the risk of dumping illegally outside is beyond understanding when it is just as easy to use civil amenities and discard bulk waste easily and safely. He said he cannot understand the reasoning of dumping in one place but not another as provided. He said the subsequent cleaning process of illegal dumping requires a lot of resources and at the end of the day the expenses are being carried by the community.

To better understand the motivations behind such actions we spoke to Dr Margaret Camilleri Fenech, a Lecturer on Environmental Management. She said that Malta produces a high per capital ratio of refuse and in fact the country is the second highest in the EU in waste production. She explained this is not just because of an increase in population but it has been detected that every person is producing more waste which is the result of great consumption and thus more discarded waste. Asked whether there are still people who are more concerned with cleanliness from their front door inward, Dr. Camilleri Fenech replied that unfortunately this is a case and a cause because numbers of people are selfish and only concerned with themselves. On a more positive note a lot of work has taken place in creating more educational awareness, particularly among children.

She ended the interview by stating it is important that when the Government considers the economy and the country’s GDP, consideration is also given to various sectors of tourism and construction and the management of ensuing waste from these. If this happens in this way a better economy would be created which is cleaner and more sustainable.