Over the last few years, Valletta has made great strides in restoration and the setting up of new commercial establishments, but now it needs to address one of its worst problems – the littering which gives it an image of neglect and disorganization. The Government, together with the local council, ha issued a draft legal notice for public consultation so that waste collection will be organized during fixed times and increased fines for those those who take their garbage out more than half an hour before it is collected.
”The chaos in the rubbish collection in Valletta definitely does not befit a capital city which in less than one month will be the European Capital of Culture. The sight of boxes and garbage bags strewn for a long period of time on the pavements and street corners has to stop,” said Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista.
Dr Debattista said that “economically and socially the city has flourished, and this has led to the side effect of additional rubbish which has created this problem. Therefore this law will help to regulate and prevent this continuing eyesore.”
To address this problem the legal notice will establish fixed times when residences and shops can take their rubbish out for collection.
It is being proposed that there should be smaller vehicles to collect rubbish and that the collection will take place between midnight and 3am and between 3pm and 5pm. The rubbish cannot be taken out earlier than half an hour before these times. There will be harsher fines of up to 1000 Euro and there will be increased enforcement according to this legal notice.
Dr Debattista said that “we will continue to increase surveillance and enforcement as well as more people from the Directorate. We have increased CCTV cameras, so that this littering problem will not continue. The aim is for the heavy fines to serve as a deterrent to avoid further littering.”
The city’s Mayor Prof Alexei Dingli said that this year the local council and Cleansing Directorate have spent more than one million Euro in cleaning Valletta.
The consultation process will continue until 15 January.